Flooding, affordable housing: Main focuses of City of Charleston’s comprehensive plan

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Every decade, the City of Charleston is required to create a new comprehensive plan to set goals and guidelines for the city’s growth and future. The latest plan is set to be revealed on Wednesday, June 30th.

This is the first comprehensive plan that Mayor John Tecklenburg has worked on since being elected in 2016.

The two main focuses of the plan are flood mitigation and increasing affordable housing.

“This is the first time in our city’s history that we’ve taken account the water,” said Mayor Tecklenburg. “Where to build, where not to build. Not only from existing water but from projected seas level rise that will occur over the next 30 to 50 years.”

A study was conducted to look at every part of the city in order to analyze how flooding could be handled and prevented in the future.

“Where does it make sense for any future growth and what kind of density you put there based upon where we expect water to be and where we know it is now,” said the mayor.

Affordable housing in Charleston is what Mayor Tecklenburg calls “a crisis.” The comprehensive plan is expected to detail how the city is working to create more affordable housing in all parts of the city.

A study conducted by the City of Charleston concludes that more than 16,000 affordable housing units could need to be built by 2030 for several levels of income residents in the City of Charleston.

Mayor Tecklenburg says the plan addresses this statistic.

“It makes that recommendation that we try to attain those goals. It sets out a number of strategies, many of which, frankly, we’re already pursuing but continue those efforts to create more affordable housing.”

Flooding and affordable housing are two of the largest dilemmas facing the city. Moving forward, city leaders want to create long term solutions.

“It’s just a matter of really making sure our city survives long term and continues to be a vibrant place where we can still grow but do it smartly and do it in the right places,” said Mayor Tecklenburg.

Another focus of the comprehensive plan is beautifying current parks as well as creating new ones for community use.

On Wednesday, city council and the city’s planning commission will be meeting for a presentation of the plan. Following one to two more public hearings on the plan, Mayor Tecklenburg says that by the end of the summer, city council is expected to approve the comprehensive plan.

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