FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — The Florence County Council on Thursday approved its 10-year comprehensive plan, called “Florence County: 2032: Connecting Our Past, Defining Our Future.”

The purpose of the comprehensive plan is for elected officials to have an official document that lists the goals and vision for Florence County in areas such as land use and growth, recreation, housing, and economic development.

State law mandates that comprehensive plans are updated every 10 years. Florence County last updated its plan in 2017.

“The biggest thing that gets the most attraction is the land elements,” said Shawn Brashear, director of planning and building for Florence County. “Land use guides how zoning can be applied, where should retail developments occur, where should single family housing occur, where should industrial development occur, and as time progresses and the community continues to build and grow, you have to continually look at those maps and re-evaluate them.”

The comprehensive plan has five primary focuses: retaining college students by providing good jobs and having things for younger people, upkeep existing industrial and commercial properties, continue to support public safety, and promote recreation and natural resources.

Florence County Councilman Kent Caudle said he wanted to assure the public about the comprehensive plan.

“I don’t want people to think that this is a mandate, an act, that we’re going to zone their property and their taxes are going to go up,” Caudle said. “That’s not going to happen. It’s just a suggestion on what’s the highest and best use in which area.”

Brashear said the comprehensive plan is shaping the future of Florence County. He said the decisions that are made today will affect generations to come.

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Taylor Ford is a multimedia journalist for News13. She joined the News13 team in January 2023. Taylor is a Florence native and covers the Pee Dee out of News13’s Florence Bureau. Read more of Taylor’s work here.