Lexington County adds support to future-minded planning event

Lexington County is the latest to throw financial support behind an October event designed to address projected growth in the Midlands.

During the regular council meeting Tuesday, Irene Dumas Tyson of The Boudreaux Group, co-chair of the Midlands Reality Check, described to elected officials the purpose behind the unique, forward-thinking event.

Hundreds already have signed up to be a part of Midlands Reality Check on Oct. 22. Throughout the day, business and community leaders from all sectors of the region will gather to proactively plan for the education, housing and quality of life for new residents. Specifically, the exercise sponsored by Urban Land Institute South Carolina will help set land use principles and develop growth scenarios through 2030.

As Dumas Tyson informed council, if even a minimal percentage of growth occurs in the next three decades, 450,000 new residents could be moving to the region, with most projected to come to Lexington County. The result is the need for more housing, schools, recreation opportunities and medical care to name a few items.

Next month, local stakeholders will meet in small groups depending on their area of expertise to come up with realistic strategies to get a jump on planning for the influx of people. Areas represented will range from agriculture to transportation to nonprofit groups.

At the conclusion of Midlands Reality Check, leaders should have a urban growth plan to guide them.

Previous Reality Checks were completed in Greenville, Charleston, Richmond, Charlotte, the Research Triangle and Jacksonville, Fla.

Of the event’s $300,000 budget, Dumas Tyson said nearly all has been pledged by corporations and local governments. Lexington County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to add $5,000 of its own.

A follow-up summit is set for Oct. 24. Group leaders from the prior event will lay out their strategic plans at that time, and the public is welcome to attend to give comment or simply learn more. Click here to learn about the Urban Land Institute.

In other business, Council approved a resolution authorizing a ballot question for a special tax district. The issue will affect the Golden Hills community.

Categories: Lexington County