Beaufort passes first reading of civic master plan - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Beaufort passes first reading of civic master plan

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The City of Beaufort is just one vote away from finalizing its civic master plan, a block by block vision of what the city will look like in the next century.

Tuesday night's council vote came after a debate between city leaders and historic preservationists who wanted more detailed language.

It comes down to two pages which contain the "Seven Integrities for Historic Preservation."

The Historic Beaufort Foundation says it would be helpful to include them as guidelines in the civic master plan but many city officials say it's redundant and unnecessary.

"We're an extraordinarily unique city in this country by essentially having all of our downtown area designated as a historic landmark district," said Jon Verity, Chairman of the Beaufort Redevelopment Commission.

Historic preservationists want to protect the 304 acres that make up the historic district.

At Tuesday night's city council meeting, the Historic Beaufort Foundation requested these seven requirements of design principles be included in the city's civic master plan.

"It's two pages and it is simply kind of a heads up to people who do want to make changes in the historic district," said Maxine Lutz, Executive Director of the Historic Beaufort Foundation.  

Some city leaders say the information is already available in other documents.  

"I do believe it's redundant, I actually think the language that's in there is perfectly adequate," said Verity. 

He adds that anyone wanting to build within the historic district must first get approval from the Historic District Review Board.

City leaders say they will try to work with historic preservationists on a compromise before the next meeting.

The city will hold its second and final reading on the civic master plan on Jan. 28.

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