Residents weigh in as Town of Hilton Head Island rewrites comprehensive plan

Residents weigh in as Town of Hilton Head Island writes new comprehensive plan

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - The Town of Hilton Head Island is coming up with an all new comprehensive plan, and Monday night, residents got a chance to learn more about it.

South Carolina mandates that every municipality rewrite their comprehensive plan every 10 years. Residents are trying to predict what they will need in the next 20 years. Senior Planner Taylor Ladd says usually, when a town rewrites its plan, it’s done by staff with little input from the community. For Hilton Head Island, that’s not the case.

“This time around, it’s completely different because we have about 90 folks from our community who are involved, and they are telling us, ‘This is what we think the Town of Hilton Head could or should do, or maybe this is something we can aspire to be in 20 years,'" Ladd said.

There are eight different work groups based on core principles and initiatives the town prioritizes. Carlton Dallas is a Hilton Head Island resident working on the “Our Plan” in the work group to modernize the economy on the island.

“Not big manufacturing plants; small footprint high intellectual property jobs so people do not have to traverse the bridge. They can live here. Younger families have kids in school, and really become an integral part of the community here. That’s how we want to grow the economy here," Dallas said.

According to a recent survey, the town says 80 percent of people under the age of 50 want to market to younger people and start up companies. So far, staff and residents say technology is one of the island's weaknesses.

“We’ve got to put in 5G. We’ve got to make sure that there is internet connectivity on every square inch of the island," Dallas said.

The town says sustainability is also on residents’ minds as the highest rated value in their community. The island is still trying to figure out affordable housing as it continues to be an issue this town plan hopes to finally solve.

“The spectrum of ages. The spectrum of socioeconomic and the spectrum of cultures; being here and being able to find a place to live work and play here. That’s important and that’s coming out across the board,” Ladd said.

Town Council will approve the final comprehensive plan around this time next year.

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