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County’s comprehensive plan update moves forward

POSTED: March 14, 2018 9:30 a.m.

Bryan County’s roadmap for the future took another step forward Tuesday as commissioners agreed to submit the updated document to the Coastal Regional Commission for review.

The updated plan, required by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, will help shape the county’s planning for the next decade in areas such as transportation, housing, land use and economic development.

About 1,000 residents participated in the process, including a growth forum, a kickoff meeting, listening sessions and an online survey.

The online survey, which drew 763 responses, indicated that 93 percent of respondents said “quality of life” was their main reason for living in Bryan County. Another 88 percent said it was due to recreational opportunities and 85 percent said it was because of the school system.

During the listening sessions, schools, safety and the coastal environment were listed as “likes” among attendees, while a lack of high-paying jobs, the lack of connectivity between neighborhoods and limited shopping/dining options were listed as “dislikes.”

The county’s population is about 36,000 currently. That is projected to increase to 52,000 by 2030 and 84,000 by 2050. Bryan County continues to outpace the state per capita income and has a lower unemployment rate than the state as a whole.

Roughly 70 percent of Bryan County’s workforce leaves the county for work each day, with 70 percent of them going to Chatham County.

Feedback indicated that residents in the future want Bryan County to have a more diverse population, better opportunities for local employment, mixed-use developments and an interconnected street system that provides an alternative to main roads.

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