SUMMERVILLE - The difference between the town's in-the-works Vision Plan and other shelved master plans is in the details, its planner says.

Summerville Vision Plan charette schedule

All meetings in the Cuthbert Center in Azalea Park, 105 W.

5th Street.


10:30 a.m. - Environmental Protection & Sustainability.

1 p.m. - Parks, Recreation, and Youth.

2:30 p.m. - Sidewalks, Greenways, Pedestrians, and Bicyclists.

4 p.m. - Residential Building & Development.

6:30 p.m. - Public Kick-Off Workshop: How and Where do we Grow?


9 a.m. - Marketing, Events, and Parking in Downtown.

10:30 a.m. - Downtown Development Opportunities.

1 p.m. - Job Growth and Economic Development.

2:30 p.m. - Exit 199/17A/Main Street Commercial Development.

4 p.m. - Marketing.

6:30 p.m. - Daily Project Update: See Work in Progress.


9 a.m. - Hospital Area and Wellness.

1 p.m. - Implementation and Funding.

2:30 p.m. - Public Safety.

4 p.m. - Oakbrook Revitalization.

6:30 p.m. - Daily Project Update: See Work in Progress.


9 a.m. - Zoning and Commercial Building Design.

10:30 a.m. - Signage and Landscape Standards.

1 p.m. - Civic Groups and Grassroots Projects.

2:30-5 p.m. - Open Studio.

6:30 p.m. - Daily Project Update: See Work in Progress.


9 a.m.- noon Open Studio.

Noon Daily Project Update: See Work in Progress.

1-5 p.m. - Open Studio.

Thursday, March 6

6:30 p.m. -Closing Presentation at Town Council Chambers, Town Hall Annex.

Source: Lawrence Group

The town's plan not only will lay out blueprints for handling ongoing growth that has tripled the population in little more than a decade, it also will detail management down to points such as intersections and specific public spaces, as well as identify funding sources, said Monica Holmes, urban designer for Lawrence Group, the North Carolina firm overseeing the plan.

Residents get to play with that future starting Monday, as planners hold a series of public meetings to gather input.

"The idea is to build consensus around a plan that will manage our growth for the next 20 years," said Mayor Bill Collins, in a recent State of the Town address.

Among early Vision Plan features will be a short list of smaller-scale improvements that can be made in the next two to three years, "where we can see things change quickly," Holmes said. "We're really working on a very detailed scale, strengthening what the town already has and making very targeted investments."

The overarching goals of the plan are to preserve the "small town" historic character of Summerville while managing rapid growth, and to revitalize areas that haven't seen new development and are threatened with decline, Holmes said.

The plan will have focuses on the downtown and the growth-entangled areas of the Oakbrook bedroom community and commercial-residential Sheep Island Road, which will soon have its own Interstate 26 interchange.

Keeping the character of Summerville intact as it grows is doable, Holmes said.

"There are other places that have seen it done successfully," she said, such as Franklin, Tenn. and Davidson, N.C. "There is a real history in Summerville. It isn't fake, it's not Disney."

The town is paying $213,000 for the plan, according to administrative services director Lisa Wallace.

Reach Bo Petersen at 937-5744, @bopete on twitter or Bo Petersen Reporting on Facebook.