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Beaufort Planning Efforts Honored With Outstanding Planning Award

American Planning Association, South Carolina Chapter - October, 23, 2012

LITCHFIELD BEACH, SC: Beaufort County, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, the Lowcountry Council of Governments, and the Planning Center were recently honored as the 2012 recipient of the Outstanding Planning award by the South Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association (SCAPA) at its annual conference October 19 at Litchfield Beach. The Outstanding Planning award is presented to a project of local significance that shows innovation, quality, transferability, comprehensiveness, sustainability and cost benefit. These agencies were recognized for their partnership in creating the Beaufort Area TDR Implementation Study.

The Beaufort Area TDR Implementation Study involved the development of a Transfer of Development Rights ordinance through a federal-local government partnership. Never before has a transfer of development rights program been used to preserve the relationship of a military installation and the surrounding community. This project and the resulting TDR program successfully addresses a myriad of issues facing many communities throughout the nation today, and as the first of its kind, has a wide degree of transferability to other jurisdictions.

The Study addressed five key areas: Environmental Justice (by compensating small landowners for reduced development potential caused by a rezoning, by allowing them to sell TDRs from the forgone development rights); Conservation (by creating a revolving fund for land conservation that includes sensitive habitat); Safety (by curbing population growth around the Marine Corps Air Station); Sustainability (by directing growth into villages and hamlets identified for growth in the Comprehensive Plan Update); and Economics (by preserving the functionality of one of Beaufort County’s greatest economic resources).

Moving forward, the Beaufort County and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort TDR program will become a valuable tool used to preserve the installation and protect it from urban encroachment. As a growth management tool, TDR will also encourage sustainable compact development envisioned in the Beaufort County Comprehensive Plan update.

For over 25 years, the South Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association (SCAPA) has been a leader in planning activities and an active resource for planners, communities, citizens, elected and appointed officials, and allied professionals throughout the state. SCAPA has an active and growing membership of about 350 members. It serves a diverse group of planning professionals embracing a variety of disciplines. The membership includes professional planners (public, private, and academic), planning commissioners, board of zoning appeals members, building officials, neighborhood group leaders, urban designers, economists and students of planning and community development. Among its members are several planners of international acclaim who have developed innovative approaches to critical issues facing our nation's cities and regions.