Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance
Located in the heart of the Lowcountry, in southeastern South Carolina, just outside Hilton Head, this once quaint One Square Mile coastal town has surged to an area of over 53 square miles. LSL assisted Bluffton in preparing a plan that focused on managing growth. The plan is sensitive to the delicate balance between the intensity and location of land uses, while at the same time protecting its fragile environment and ensuring an adequate transportation system and public services.
Once the Plan was updated, LSL Planning led a team to rewrite the zoning and subdivision regulations into a Unified Development Ordinance. This new ordinance integrates many of the “best practices” promoted in the Plan – compact development, mixed use, multi-modal streets, green infrastructure and transfer of development rights. Incentives are provided to entice developers to provide desired elements like LEED design, affordable housing and open space. LSL formatted the ordinance into a user-friendly EZone | Interactive Ordinance with a user guide. In addition, LSL worked with town staff to streamline the application process with a user manual and interactive PDF forms. Five years after the plan was adopted, LSL Planning prepared an “audit” as required by South Carolina State Law. This process examined the high degree of accomplishments since the plan was prepared, along with the framework for some chapters that will be refreshed.
Community engagement tools were used in Bluffton, see more about our proven techniques.