Lexington, SC 10/06/2022 – Lexington County Council voted unanimously to approve the 2022 comprehensive plan entitled “Grow With Us: Responsibly Planning Lexington County”.
The 2022 Comprehensive Plan is Lexington County’s commitment to working with stakeholders and community residents to collectively develop a plan for responsibly growing our county. This plan will provide a framework that Lexington County and community leaders can use to manage growth in the years to come.
Council members voted to approve the plan during their Tuesday, June 7 council meeting. During Tuesday’s meeting, Council Chair Scott Whetstone took the time to thank the Planning and GIS Department for their efforts in creating and developing this plan.
“Thank you for all the work you have done,” said Chairman Whetstone. “A lot of time and dedication has gone into this and we really appreciate it.”
The Comprehensive 2022 Plan has been curated over the past two years by the Lexington County Planning and GIS Department along with a team of consultants who have facilitated the process. During those two years, there were five different outreach efforts to engage the public and get feedback on what they thought should be included in the plan.
Outreach began in July 2020 with a public “kick-off” meeting before County Council and the Planning Commission. This meeting was followed shortly thereafter by a process of extensive stakeholder interviews with citizens, business leaders and organizations such as the Construction Industry Association, local builders and developers, private citizens, school districts, city leaders and many others. There were also many focus group meetings with district department heads and administration.
A steering committee composed of private individuals and local leaders was established to guide the plan, make key contributions and review the initial drafting of the plan. The Steering Committee held seven separate meetings that took place between July 2020 and March 2022. In October 2020, the “Ideas Week” took place, which consisted of several face-to-face and virtual meetings to get input and understand residents’ aspirations and priorities. These meetings were strategically targeted at seven regional areas in the county that corresponded to the seven previously identified planning areas.
From this, three growth scenarios were developed, each showing a different detailed model of future land use in Lexington County. Each scenario was developed based on the different focal points of the “Idea Week”. They were presented to the public in September 2021 using online charts and a month-long poll preference tool process, all intended to allow the public to select a preferred growth scenario option to help in the development of the to help future land use and character maps of Lexington County.
Public feedback from the growth scenario survey was then used to create the design plan. The draft plan was presented to the public in January 2022, which included a virtual public presentation, a live online question-and-answer session, and use of a month-long online survey response format designed to gather public feedback on the draft plan and the county Future land use and character map.
After the 2022 Comprehensive Plan was completed by the Planning and GIS Department, it was first submitted to the District Planning Commission for recommendation of support and then presented to the District Council. The first reading took place on March 22nd, a public hearing on May 11th, the second reading on May 24th and the third and final reading on June 7th.
“This plan will serve as a guide for Lexington County going forward,” said County Administrator Lynn Sturkie. “We want Lexington County to continue to grow and thrive, and with this plan we will be able to responsibly prepare for and manage growth. Thank you to all the citizens who provided their feedback to help us develop this plan. This would not be possible without your contribution.”
“This plan definitely challenges the community to ‘plan with us’ to plan responsibly for the future of Lexington County,” said Planning and GIS Director Holland Leger. “This district has not had a solid plan of this caliber in many years and with the overwhelming support of the community, today we celebrate your success.”
“Thank you for the County Council’s support and funding, for the trust of the administration, community and planning commission to complete this monumental task,” Leger said. “I also have immeasurable appreciation for the design and GIS staff, stakeholders and citizens of Lexington County without whom we would not have been successful. The future of our county is bright and we look forward to planning Lexington County responsibly by having you all ‘Plan with Us’.”
For more information on the Comprehensive 2022 Plan, visit www.growwithuslexco.com.