Urban Land Institute (ULI) Panel Study
Sept. 18 -23, 2016
On May 14, 2015, ArcelorMittal announced that they would be permanently shutting down their Georgetown steel mill facility. Since 2001, the Georgetown mill had experienced multiple shutdowns, layoffs, and a bankruptcy that reduced it to a shell of its former self. The news of the announcement served as a wake-up call to City and County leaders that a new vision was needed to reposition this site in the heart of the City to be most beneficial to the greater community. Georgetown is also facing a similar fate with the future of the Port of Georgetown. Georgetown is at a strategic disadvantage to neighboring ports that had transitioned to containers and that had much deeper natural depths. The port desperately needs dredging to survive, but the costs have mushroomed beyond a justifiable ROI that makes funding unlikely. Community leaders have worked exhaustively for more than a decade to save the port, but its future is more than doubtful. At this stage, it is the duty of local leadership to pursue contingency plans for if the port were to close.
A working group with representatives from local government, local businesses, and state agencies evaluated various community planning options and determined the best approach for Georgetown was an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Advisory Services Panel Program. ULI, is a reputable nonprofit research and education organization with the stated mission “to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide”. ULI advocates progressive development, conducting research, and education in topics such as sustainability, smart growth, urban design, compact development, infrastructure, economic development, public policy, placemaking, and housing.
The issue facing Georgetown is not a decision between tourism and industry. They are both vital sectors to the local economy and both have room to grow and prosper. There are ample available industrial sites in Georgetown that are better suited to supply the area’s industrial economic development targets. Georgetown’s opportunity is to set a vision that leverages the community’s assets, expands on its resources, provides economic opportunity to residents, and attracts outside investment. The objective is a comprehensive approach to find the highest and best use for the community as a whole. The evaluation should consider capital investment, direct and indirect jobs created, quality of jobs created, induced impacts, complementary support for other local industry sectors, contributions to local tax base and the long term sustainability of the planned project.
The intended result from ULI’s independent approach to move the community forward with a shared vision of the possibilities. And with the visualization of who they we want to be, Georgetownians can better align their resources to achieve the plan, including choosing compatible partnerships to work with. The quality type of businesses and developers that Georgetown would hope to attract should respect and appreciate the community’s formulated aspiration when looking to invest.
Plans, Maps, Photos, Policy Guidiance
City of Georgetown Comprehensive Plan (2011)
Land Use Elements Revision (2016) Passed by Planning Commission.
West End Redevelopment Plan (2004) West End Plan Appendix.
Goat Island Master Plan (2013)
Clemson Bridge2Bridge Charrette (2009)
—Georgetown Charrette Status Report
—Georgetown Charrette Presentation pgs 1-36
—Georgetown Charrette Presentation pgs 37-85
—Georgetown Charrette Presentation pgs 86-111
City Strategic Plan (2003)
Ordinances, Regulations and Guidelines
City of Georgetown Code of Ordinances
City of Georgetown Zoning Ordinance and Guidelines
Land Development Regulations. City of Georgetown
Architectural Review Board Authorizing Ordinance. City of Georgetown
Architectural Review Board (ARB) Design Guidelines (residential) (2004) City of Georgetown
Waterfront Area Design Guidelines (2003) City of Georgetown
Special Area Management Plan. (SAMP) (Sampit Waterfront) City of Georgetown
Hazard Mitigation Plan
Georgetown County Code of Ordinances
Georgetown County GIS Map Server
Study Area Property Map
West End Perspective to Study Area
Georgetown Historic District Map
Flood Map. City of Georgetown
Zoning Map. City of Georgetown
Future Land Use Map. City of Georgetown
West End Cultural Arts District initiative.
Community Profile of Georgetown. SC Department of Employment & Workforce. 8/26/16
Georgetown Steel Mill Timeline 1969-2015
Aerials of Project Area