The Bryan County Comprehensive Plan has been underway for the last several months and the recently completed draft is ready for input from local residents.
Public workshops will be held next month for all of Bryan County to learn more and give feedback. The first set of workshops will be held Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Community Center in Pembroke and Thursday, Feb. 21, in the council chambers at Richmond Hill City Hall. Both workshops will start at 6:30 p.m.
The county’s comp plan was created by a committee made up of local residents, with the help of the Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center.
"This is their opportunity for the community’s voices to be heard. The future of the county will be discussed – this will be the document that’ll help guide what’s going to happen in the future and we are working with the community to develop the document," said CGRDC Director Tricia Reynolds. "We’re not doing this; we’re reacting to what we hear at these community meetings to create this plan."
The plan’s purpose is to create a policy to help guide the decision making for the county’s future. Specific assessment topic areas that the plan covers include population, housing trends and conditions, economic development, natural resources, cultural and historical resources, land use, community facilities, transportation, and intergovernmental coordination.
Reynolds said the workshops will be highly interactive.
"This is the first of a series of public workshops that will continue through March and April and we want every opportunity to get the public involved. This is the future of your community being talked about," Reynolds said. "Churches, neighborhoods, developed and undeveloped property owners, anyone and everyone should come out."
The first official draft of the comp plan’s agenda was passed out to the committee earlier this month for review.
"This is very much still a draft," said Mary Beth Bass, historic preservation/planner I for the CGRDC. "The committee is reviewing it now and we expect to get their comments by next week. We’ll go over those and then we’ll have the workshops for the public and make more revisions based on what the community has to say about it."
Bass said the CGRDC is excited about the workshops. She stressed that the meetings are for everyone in Bryan County, but said input from these workshops will be used to help complete the Richmond Hill and Pembroke comp plans.
"These workshops are for any citizen in any city and we’re presenting some of the policies and the issues that we’ve been discussing in Bryan County. This is when the plan will become a joint plan," she explained. "We’ve incorporated things from the Coastal Comp Plan, which is a separate plan. But we want the county to be prepared, if and when the Coastal Comp Plan goes through, and we want the community’s input."
The vision statement for Bryan County’s comprehensive plan:
Bryan County is a family-oriented community that values its education system, coastal amenities and unique rural character, where location and quality of life are recognized as important features of our vibrant and growing county.
Our goals are to master plan and prepare for growth, economic development and provide adequate facilities and services for our citizens while preserving our natural resources and native character.
Our priorities include: preserving our natural heritage while providing for quality growth by evolving higher standards for all types of development; continuing our commitment to sustaining a family-friendly community through exceptional educational opportunities; continuing economic development through job creation and attracting wealth-building enterprises; increasing recreational options and housing affordability.