Beaufort County looks to 2040

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Beaufort County has its eyes on the future.

The county has released its Envision Beaufort County 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which sets goals for the upcoming years.

The comprehensive plan sets priorities around how the county can best accommodate growth, protect the natural environment, support economic development efforts, consider housing affordability, and promote cultural diversity.

After a year of data collection and analysis, the county said the plan is now available for review and public comments.

The plan is updated every 10 years and determines how land-use ordinances are structured, capital projects are prioritized and policies are implemented.

The plan, which can be viewed at envisionbeaufortcounty.com, looks out 20 years and recognizes the “impact that growth has on the convenience, sense of place, and character of the region.”

Beaufort County has created a vision and the regulatory tools it needs to balance economic development, resource protection, and growth in a form that creates quality places, according to the plan.

By investing in new public infrastructure, creating incentives for affordable housing, focusing development on land of the highest suitability, and making “hard choices about how to protect the very environmental systems that can help mitigate harm,” future generations will enjoy the quality of life and economic prosperity offered by Beaufort County’s unique landscape and culture, the plan said.

Public input on the plan is encouraged.