The town of Bluffton held an open house and workshop April 19 to “seek input” on its comprehensive plan.

The town’s planning team discussed the plan, titled Blueprint Bluffton, and requested input from Town Council and the public on their priorities and what might be missing.

There was a presentation by consultants Andrew Overbeck and Kyle May from MKSK, a planning and urban design firm. May said the long-term plan should help the town in making future decisions.

May said the comprehensive plan is a “blueprint document the community references as it strategizes, considers, and prioritizes investments that it’s making in a regular ongoing way.”

The comprehensive plan has 10 required elements: population, economic development, natural resources, cultural resources, community facilities, housing, land use, transportation, resilience, and priority investment. Within these elements, there is a list of objectives for the town to complete or address in coming years.

Some of the proposed objectives cover a more broad view, such as “mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.” Other objectives are more narrow and add to projects the town has in place, like “add affordable and workforce housing in Bluffton.”

Overbeck said the plan and these objectives are a tool for the town to use to “move forward with one vision.” He said it will work alongside the town’s strategic plan to inform decisions.

The strategic plan is updated every two years and outlines the the town’s “work plan.” The town finalized the strategic plan action agenda for 2023-24 on April 14.

The comprehensive plan is updated every 10 years and is required by the state.

“There is a lot of overlap, too, between what we’re doing and the strategic plan that the town just adopted,” May said. “The difference between that document and what we’re doing here is the focus on land use. So we have a chapter on mapping, an intense point of view around how and where Bluffton will grow, invest and redevelop.”

The open house was initially scheduled for April 5 but was moved online because of inclement weather. The town scheduled a second open house for April 19 to give residents the chance to provide input.

Overbeck said the consulting team has engaged the community, asking residents what they want to see in the plan. He said the feedback made it clear their main priority is maintaining the town’s “unique culture” while addressing problems in transportation, housing and development.

The town has a survey open for community input, but the consulting team said input will still be welcomed after the survey closes May 9.

The town’s website said an informational meeting will be held at 6 p.m. May 25 where the Bluffton Planning Commission “will hold a workshop to discuss proposed       recommendations” for the comprehensive plan.

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Town of Bluffton gathers input on comprehensive plan – Bluffton Today

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