Planning Awards Past Winners
APA South Carolina Announces 2016 Planning Awards at Annual Conference
The South Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA South Carolina) held its annual conference September 21-23, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia in concert with the Georgia Planning Association with over 400 planners in attendance. The conference featured a joint awards dinner to recognize outstanding efforts and achievements that advance the art and science of planning in the Palmetto State. Each of the plans, projects and organizations recognized demonstrated a contribution to the improvement of the quality of life for South Carolinians.
Awards are a valuable public awareness tool for local governments, agencies, and community organizations. APA South Carolina awards offer one of the few opportunities that South Carolina planners and communities have to highlight the virtues of planning and recognize those who contribute to the profession
The award submissions were reviewed based on the following evaluation criteria:
- Innovation: originality of concept or appreciable refinement of existing techniques.
- Transferability: potential application to other geographic areas, jurisdiction, or to other projects.
- Quality: excellence of thought, analysis, writing, graphics, presentation, or communication.
- Implementation: success and effectiveness of project or potential for such if not already implemented.
- Comprehensiveness: consideration of planning principles and broad range of public and private objectives.
- Significance: overall importance at local, regional, and/or state planning levels.
- Sustainability: degree to which the plan, policy, project, etc. is designed to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability.
- Cost Benefit: overall benefit of the plan in relation to the amount of resources (i.e. staff time, consultant fees, direct expenses, etc.) expended on the project.
Five awards were conveyed this year, one in each of the following categories for a policy, plan, study, inventory, program, development project, implementation strategy, ordinance or other product.
Outstanding Planning Project – Rural
- Jurisdiction: Greenville County (jurisdictions with a service area of less than 10,000 residents)
- Project Name: Scuffletown Area Plan Update 2015
The Scuffletown Area located in southeastern Greenville County is one of the fastest growing areas in Upstate SC, with 30 new subdivisions and a population increase of 64% since 2006. This plan update was requested in response to a growing number of rezoning applications that sought increases in residential density in the area. Public support reinforced the initial vision from the 2006 Scuffletown Area Plan—to protect and enhance the area’s distinctive rural charm and beauty of the agricultural landscape as development occurs. The plan update provides strategies—including Greenville County’s first Design Overlay District—for accommodating reasonable and sustainable growth without sacrificing these inherent qualities.
Outstanding Planning Project – Small Urban
- Jurisdiction: City of Greer (jurisdictions with a service area of more than 10,000 and less than 30,000 residents)
- Project Name: Greer Community Master Plan
Outstanding Planning Project – Multi-jurisdictional
- Jurisdiction: City of Columbia & Richland County (A multi-jurisdictional project is a partnership of two or more local governments or two or more levels of government)
- Project Name: Plan Together: Putting the Pieces in Place
Outstanding Planning Project – Public Outreach and Engagement
- Jurisdiction: Town of Mount Pleasant (awarded for the innovative use of public outreach and engagement in planning practice which has improved the effectiveness and accuracy of planning efforts)
- Project Name: Mount Pleasant Public Outreach Program
Outstanding Planning Project – Implementation
- Jurisdiction: Sumter City-County Planning Department (awarded for the successful implementation of a plan adopted by the local jurisdiction. Efforts can include projects from public, private and non-profit entities with significant investment and/or oversight of the project.)
- Project Name: Abandoned & Dilapidated Housing Demolition Program
The City of Sumter embarked on a systematic enforcement and demolition program designed to eradicate dilapidated residential structures and removed 147 blighted structures between August 2014 and 2016. To accomplish this the City initiated the following actions:
- Expanded the Codes Enforcement Division, from 4 to 7 full-time employees
- Adopted a revised Property Maintenance Code
- Applied for and received a $3.2 million award from the State Housing Authority for the purchase and demolition of blighted structures.
- City Council adopted a Vacant Housing Registry Ordinance, requiring vacant properties to register with the City
- Took aggressive enforcement steps to prosecute code violations, including the issuance of 290 demolition orders to individual property owners.