County is required by the state to have a 10-year comprehensive plan
Several members of the Planning Commission were on the morning show yesterday to talk about Union County’s proposed Comprehensive Plan 2031—a 10-year road map for the county. Counties have been required to have comprehensive plans since 1994, when the South Carolina Comprehensive Planning Enabling Act was passed. The law requires a new comprehensive plan to be adopted every 10 years and that existing plans be reviewed and updated every five years.
Community Development Director Kathy Jo Lancaster and Catawba Regional Council of Governments Senior Planner Stephen Allen explain what the plan is:
(audio below story)
The plan was put together with input from several focus groups of county citizens, and many of their suggestions were incorporated into the plan. The vision statement for the county as stated in the plan is, "Union County is a safe, family-oriented county with abundant opportunities for educational excellence and employment, areas for healthy living, and treasured natural resources."
Five planning principles provide the foundation for all that follows in the plan. The first is resilient communities, stating that Union County is resilient with strong commercial and industrial corridors that are connected to an efficient transportation system that includes a variety of choices and are connected by greenways and blueways trails.
The second is abundant natural resources, stating that the county has an abundance of natural amenities and environmentally sensitive areas are enjoyed by residents and visitors and protected for generations to come.
The third planning principle is safe and active communities, stating that Union County provides a safe, family-oriented atmosphere and a strong sense of community. Local partnerships and programs ensure opportunities for healthy living, efficient services, and diverse cultural amenities.
The fourth principle is strong education and economy, which states that the county supports its local businesses, industries, and educational stakeholders and promotes new, innovative companies to ensure a diverse and resilient economic base that is responsive to changing economic conditions and educational opportunities.
The final planning principle is responsible regionalism, which states that Union County is a partner with others in the region by working with surrounding counties to address issues of common interest, such as the economy, housing, transportation, air quality, and water conservation. To be successful, Union County plans and development activities are consistent with and supportive of neighboring areas.
These principles are woven into all the areas of the plan, which is subdivided into sections, which include population, land use, transportation, housing, economic development, cultural resources, natural resources, community facilities, health, education, and priority investment.
The full report is available to download and read from the county’s website, www.countyofunion.org. A hard copy is available to view at 103 West Main Street during normal business hours. Union County Council’s first reading of the comprehensive plan ordinance is set for a special called meeting Monday afternoon.