Growth plan develops from Deliberative Dialogue

By Debbie Dalhouse

A Dorchester County forum conducted last year by Clemson’s Laboratory for Deliberative Dialogue has resulted in decisive actions by County Council to address suburban sprawl issues.

These include conducting a residential fiscal impact assessment through Clemson’s Institute for Economic and Community Development and the Strom Thurmond Institute, adding a growth-management director, and formulating a development agreement that provides for new roads, parks, libraries, schools and public safety as more residents move to the coast. Now the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments to update the county’s comprehensive plan and provide recommendations for growth planning.

“This comprehensive plan will be based on interviews with major stakeholders in Dorchester County,” said Larry Hargett, Council Chairman. “On release in Fall 2007, it will be used for planning growth corridors and infrastructure to efficiently deliver County services.”

Dorchester County is not alone in its tremendous growth. All South Carolina coastal counties are experiencing unprecedented increases in construction for homes, business and industry. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by the year 2012 some 50 percent of Americans will live within 50 miles of a coastline.

For information: Bill Molnar, 803-788-5700, ext. 25,