Summerville to create master plan based on community input

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Doubling their size over a 10 year period, town leaders of Summerville are still looking for a small town feel while continuing to grow.

With nearly 45,000 people, Summerville is the 7th largest city in the state.

The community is playing a big role in helping leaders set the future for the town.

Many Summerville locals packed the Cuthbert Center to help plan the town's future.

Summerville Mayor Bill Collins said, "People are not shy expressing themselves and that's what this is all about."

The wall full of post it notes with suggestions written on them show there are many opinions to go around.

Ryan Castle, a Summerville resident said, "Especially what I want to do is grow the downtown business district."

"We need to grow because right now I feel like we're behind the times," said Summerville resident Jon Franko.

Town leaders say those opinions are the backbone of the town's master plan.

Collins said, "We're looking at housing, we're looking at transportation, we're looking at retail development, we're looking at economic development."

Community members want to make sure their town is keeping up with the rest of the area.

Castle said, "I think Summerville needs to allow for more options, to allow developers to do projects to attract more people in their late 20's early 30's."

"Growth is a blessing as well as bringing challenges and this is about dealing with those challenges," said Collins.

The group of architects and planners hired to make this master plan come to life say they are ready to help.

Monica Holmes, Senior Associate for the Lawrence Group said, "There's lots of these huge developments kind of circling Summerville and Summerville honestly wants to make sure that they don't get choked by that growth but they're able to use that as an opportunity and build on that growth and make the town stronger."

Every day this week you can go to the Cuthbert Center to look at plans and offer suggestions.

Each night will end at 6:30 with a presentation by the Lawrence Group showing what they did each day.

If you plan on going to the final presentation this Friday, it will be at one in the afternoon, instead of at 6:30.

The group will then compile all comments and drawings from this week and present that on Thursday March 6th. That meeting will take place at 6:30 at the town hall.

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