Prime North Charleston was developed through collaborative efforts involving citizens, the City of North Charleston Planning Commission, city leaders, and data research and analysis. The City of North Charleston’s Comprehensive Plan update was initiated in the Fall of 2018 with an extensive program of activities to engage community groups, stakeholders, residents, and public officials in the process. A variety of outreach methods were used to ensure equitable access to participate in the planning process. Five public open house events were held over a two-week period across the City – including one in each of the City’s Planning Areas. Numerous meetings were held with groups of Stakeholders representing community advocates, economic development specialists, educational and health institution representatives, real estate investors, and neighborhood residents. Additional meetings were held with individual council members, City department leaders and other public agencies.
A project website – www.primenorthcharleston.com – was established with an Online Survey that residents could complete at their convenience. Over one thousand surveys were completed and submitted to the project team, with approximately 84% of respondents being North Charleston residents. Lastly, project team members interacted with residents at several community events, such as the Harvest and Latin American Festivals, to provide information about Prime North Charleston directing residents to additional resources encouraging them to further engage in the planning process. The public input gathered has been considered, in conjunction with a data-driven evaluation of conditions within the City related to demographics, housing, cultural and natural resources, public facilities and services, economics, transportation and land uses (Appendix I), to determine needs to be addressed in the comprehensive plan. In addition, many of the outstanding needs identified in previous plans have been integrated into this assessment to identify and define its vision, goals, policies, priorities and implementation strategies.
Participants were asked for input on how the City should accommodate growth. Attendees at almost all meetings ranked encouraging development of vacant and under-utilized property as the preferred means of accommodating growth.
In addition, participants in the workshops and online survey cited the following as key elements of their vision for the future of North Charleston:
- Housing attainability and affordable spaces for commerce,
- Planning for diverse land uses and preserving open spaces,
- Ensuring equitable access to necessary goods and services, and
- Preservation of existing neighborhoods with adequate and improved infrastructure.
The input from participants has become the pillars for the guiding principles which form this Plan. Participants in the planning process are confident that the City can achieve its goals because of its commitment to residents and businesses.