Jan 11 2010

Greenbelt Advisory Board Begins Review of Comprehensive Greenbelt Plan

The public is encouraged to participate in the first meeting at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12

Charleston County Government’s Greenbelt Advisory Board (GAB) for the Transportation Half-Cent Sales Tax is holding a meeting to begin the process of reviewing the Comprehensive Greenbelt Plan.

The meeting is open to the public, and will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 12 p.m. in County Council’s Committee Room on the second floor of the Lonnie Hamilton III, Public Service Building (4045 Bridge View Drive off Leeds Avenue in North Charleston).

Charleston County Council tasked the GAB to review the Comprehensive Greenbelt Plan and report back to Council with any recommendations. During the Jan. 12 meeting, the GAB will begin the process of reviewing the Comprehensive Greenbelt Plan.

The public is encouraged to participate in the review process.

“The work of the GAB in the first part of 2010 should have a significant impact on the future of the Comprehensive Greenbelt Plan in Charleston County,” said Louise Maybank, chair of the GAB.

The County’s consultant, Chuck Flink, with Greenways Inc., will lead the GAB’s discussion of the Comprehensive Greenbelt Plan during the meeting. Charleston County hired Greenways, Inc. in 2005 to work with GAB members to develop the Comprehensive Greenbelt Plan, which was adopted by County Council in June of 2006.

The Comprehensive Greenbelt Plan includes a vision for how the greenbelt program is organized and implemented. Elements of the vision are rural preservation, increased public access to waterways, and maximizing the leveraging of greenbelt funds. The plan contains urban and rural grants programs to distribute the greenbelt portion of the Transportation Sales Tax proceeds through the conservation of greenspace.

The Comprehensive Greenbelt Plan also sets a goal to protect 40,000 acres of greenspace throughout the County. Since the inception of the Greenbelt Program, nearly 17,000 acres have been protected using approximately $59 million in greenbelt funding. Of the total greenbelt funds estimated for land purchase during the life of the program, $36 million remains to reach the 40,000-acre goal.

The GAB was established by Charleston County Council to make recommendations on Transportation Sales Tax expenditures for greenbelt projects. The initial role of the GAB was to prepare and deliver recommendations and comments on the Comprehensive Greenbelt Plan. With approval of the Comprehensive Greenbelt Plan, the GAB’s role shifted to garnering public input while advocating for the implementation of the plan and evaluating the implementation of both the Rural Grants Program and the Urban Grants Program.

Call Cathy L. Ruff at (843) 202-7204 for more information about the Jan. 12 meeting, or visit the Transportation Sales Tax Web site at www.smallchangeforbigchange.org to review the Comprehensive Greenbelt Plan, learn about greenbelt initiatives and find out about upcoming meeting dates.

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