PC/TC to survey residents about ‘plan’

BLYTHEWOOD – During a joint meeting of the town council and planning commission Tuesday night, council and the commission unveiled a survey that it plans to distribute to the community regarding the state mandated review (every five years) and formal update (every 10 years) to the town’s comprehensive planning guide, generally referred to as the comp plan.

“This plan is not just about the five people who sit on council or the seven on the planning commission,” Blythewood Mayor Bryan Franklin said. “It’s about the citizens who live, work and play here.”

Franklin said that while it is the planning commission who puts the update of the comp plan into motion, he wants that plan to reflect what the people in Blythewood – inside the town and outside in the unincorporated 29016 – want for the future of Blythewood.

“The survey offers a great feedback mechanism,” Franklin said.

Gregory Sprouse, Director of Research, Planning and Development at the Central Midlands Council of Governments (CMCOG) said at the Dec. 7 town council meeting that CMCOG will be on hand, as it has been with past updates, to assist the town’s government and residents in updating and defining the needs and goals of the community and how it wants to grow and develop over the next 10 years.

Sprouse said the purpose of the comp plan is to develop a strategy for a healthy and pleasant environment in which to live, balance growth and stability and that reflects the economic potential of the town. One of the most important aspects of the comp plan is that it will serve as a guideline for future zoning of land in the community.

At the December meeting, Planning Commissioner Malcolm Gordge, who is overseeing the update of the town’s comp plan, said he wants to include the views of local residents and businesses to obtain the best possible input for the update. To that end, he asked Sprouse to come up with a survey that would elicit public comment with regard to the update.

A suggested draft of that survey was handed out Monday evening to the commissioners and council. The three-page survey consists of 28 questions, some open ended and some with multiple answers to choose from. A draft of the survey can be found on The Voice’s website (blythewoodonline.com) for review. Franklin said the final version will be sent to homes in the 29016 Zip code within the coming weeks to be completed and returned to town hall. The date for distribution has not yet been determined, Franklin said.

“This is the first time the town has actually surveyed the residents and businesses to find out what they want for their community before updating the comp plan,” Franklin said. “I’m looking forward to the feedback.”