Island Vibes Jan 2024 3 NEWS Continued on Page 8 IOP Community Enrichment Plan proceeds to next step By L. C. Leach III OP city leaders are ready to pursue the next phase of the island’s Community Enrichment Plan. Right after the new year, city council will review a recent online resident survey for enhancing the island’s quality of life. Once finished, a committee of residents, business owners, city leaders and tourism experts will develop recommendations to address livability and tourism management and facilitate community enrichment on a continuous basis. “Then a taskforce will be created to determine the plan’s specifics,” said Mayor Phillip I Pounds. The College of Charleston, Explore Charleston and the Mount Pleasant consulting firm The McNair Group, are working with the city to create a specific plan based on the survey’s findings. These findings include addressing a number of priorities, such as: • Emergency response • Traffic conditions, especially in summer • Balance of rental and residential properties • Communication between city council leaders and residents • Protection of wildlife habitats • Stormwater management and drainage • Water quality, including eliminating septic tanks • Public safety • Recreational access and activities • Beach preservation • Both beach and neighborhood parking • Marina renovations “The island’s tourism industry has experienced tremendous success, and residents’ quality of life is a core component of a thriving visitor economy,” said Chris Campbell, vice president of strategy & external affairs with Explore Charleston. “There’s no better way to build the best IOP for tomorrow than to develop a community enrichment plan that engages residents’ voices as the primary driver of the process.” David McNair, founder and CEO of The McNair Group in Mount Pleasant, added that this kind of plan is crucial to develop now because of the growing demand for island property, rentals and both safety and tourism services that affect many more people than the island’s current 4,300-plus residents. “Communities across the Lowcountry are now inextricably connected,” said McNair, whose firm has assisted numerous other municipalities and communities in strategy planning and community-building. “Most of us live, work and recreate across multiple community lines, and each is charged with responsible stewardship that ensures a