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Chapin working on comprehensive plan for future development

Town's Planning Commission to meet October 26 for finalization of Envision Chapin plan; Town Council to hold first reading on Nov. 30.

CHAPIN, S.C. — Chapin Town Council’s Planning Commission will be meeting next week to review a Comprehensive Plan for future development and growth. State law requires municipalities to have a plan and that the plan be fully updated every ten years.

A review draft of Envision Chapin was released October 18 in advance of the Planning Commission’s October 26 regularly scheduled meeting. The report is meant to offer guidance to Town Council on long-range strategic development goals in the community built around the following ten elements as required by law: population, economic development, natural resources, cultural resources, community facilities, housing, land use, transportation, priority investment, and resiliency.

Work compiling the Envision Chapin plan began in January 2021 when Town Council staff and Comprehensive Plan Committee members met and scheduled group listening sessions for March. In those March sessions, members of the private and public sectors were polled as to which elements of growth they thought were important or were a cause of concern.

In May, the survey results were distilled down and the Comprehensive Plan Committee identified seven key planning themes for the development of the Plan’s vision and overall direction. In June, public input was sought in a drop-in meeting. Committee members then compiled the results into a draft report presented to the Planning Commission on October 20, ahead of the regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting on October 26, 2021.

Town Council will hold a work session to review the draft of the Plan on October 26. The Council’s first public reading of the finalized Comprehensive Plan will be on November 30, with a second reading and adoption of the Plan during a December 7, 2021, meeting.

Currently, according to Lexington County GIS, the Town of Chapin consists of approximately 1,200 acres within municipal limits. Of that acreage, residential development accounts for 29.9% (349.26 acres), commercial development is 15.7% (182.91 acres), public/office/industrial is 21.4% (249.22 acres), industrial development is 2.3% (27.32 acres) and 30.7% (358.3 acres) remain vacant or undeveloped.

Credit: Town of Chapin

Public input results

A 25-question community survey was conducted online in March 2021 through the Town’s website and social media accounts, emailed to residents, and published in Chapin Magazine. 604 area residents responded to the survey that asked participants to identify the things they value most about Chapin and the top three concerns.

Where the survey participants reside:

  • 15% live within Chapin’s town limits
  • Approximately 33% live in the Timberlake area
  • Approximately 25% live near Eptings Camp Road
  • 13% live near Dreher Island Road/Saint Peters Church Road
  • 12% live near Ballentine/White Rock
  • 30% of participants have lived in the area for less than five years
  • 40% of participants have lived in the area between five to 20 years
  • 30% of participants have lived in the area for more than 20 years
  • Over 50% of participants were age 35 to 54 years old

What they valued about Chapin:

  • Lake Murray
  • Schools
  • Small town atmosphere

Top three concerns about Chapin:

  • Growth and development
  • Traffic
  • Environmental issues

How survey participants feel about growth in Chapin:

  • 39.8% = extremely fast
  • 37.4% = too fast
  • 17% = just right
  • 4.1% = too slow
  • 1.7% = extremely slow

How survey participants perceived traffic in Chapin:

  • 7.4% = had no problems getting around town
  • 54.4% = thought traffic will become an issue if the town continues to grow
  • 38.2% = believe traffic is already a mess

What respondents DID NOT want to see developed in Chapin:

  • 80% = new multifamily residential
  • 54% = large scale commercial projects
  • 43% = new industrial development

What respondents would like to see in Chapin:

  • Green spaces
  • An amphitheater
  • A cohesive downtown

Most respondents, when asked about their vision for Chapin’s future, want growth to slow down and managed. They also want to keep the small town feel while promoting small businesses and limiting new housing developments. Road planning, development and repair was also a major concern.

The entire draft of Envision Chapin comprehensive plan can be viewed at this link.