Beaufort County, with input from the community, is planning for the future.

Within the past year the Beaufort County Planning Commission finalized “Envision Beaufort County — 2040 County Comprehensive Plan” after 17 months of work. The plan was approved last November and remains a document for the future.

The comprehensive plan sets priorities around how the county can best accommodate growth, protect the natural environment, support economic development efforts, consider housing affordability, and promote cultural diversity.

The comprehensive plan is being created “in a time of change that is challenging the status quo,” according to the county, which cites the challenges of the COVID- 19 pandemic, more frequent storm events and development pushing into the natural environment.

“Fortunately, the citizens and leadership of Beaufort County are determined to address these issues and create the tools needed to overcome current challenges,” the county said.

This comprehensive plan contains guidance for the development of the county for the next 10 to 20 years. It outlines goals, policies, and implements strategies which are supported by data and technical analysis, developed with a thorough public review process.

The purpose of the plan is to enable the government officials and citizens to anticipate and constructively deal with growth and change in the community and to encourage the development of a safe, healthy, orderly and distinctive living environment, according to the county.

This plan is a “living” document and is reviewed after five years and updated every 10 years.

By investing in new public infrastructure, creating incentives for affordable housing, focusing development on land of the highest suitability, and making “hard choices about how to protect the very environmental systems that can help mitigate harm,” future generations will enjoy the quality of life and economic prosperity offered by Beaufort County’s unique landscape and culture, the plan said.

To view the plan, visit www.beaufortcountysc.gov/council/comprehensive-plan/index.html