Recently Summerville Town Council voted unanimously to begin a town-wide development plan.

This vote began a process envisioning and planning the town’s future. For me, this is a personal fulfillment for solutions to concerns that led me to enter politics more than six years ago.

For the community, it is the opportunity to help determine what the town will be for your grandchildren.

If we look back to the development heyday, building and development were barreling through everywhere without planning or reason.

There was no plan for future needs or development’s impact on the community as a whole.

It was neither practical nor sustainable for taxpayers or developers to continue in this way.

Today, I am excitedly optimistic that a new stimulating renaissance has begun for the community of Summerville.

Citizens, land owners, businesses, developers, historians, arts groups, all stakeholders are encouraged to participate. There will be many meetings and media channels to encourage the entire community’s participation.

With a team of professionals we can plan, as a community, using factual information and research to guide those decisions.

Through the years, I have worked toward many of the projects involved in the plan: the state returning the deed for the armory to the town, fighting to have Oakbrook included in the comprehensive plan as a priority investment area, enhancing the safety and esthetics of Old Trolley Road, improvements to the Highway 78 corridor from Alston school to Heritage Square, protecting and highlighting the resources of the Ashley River, an overlay district for uniform building codes and zoning changes, and a possible civic center.

These and so many other issues can be worked out with input and information from professional planners to guarantee that infrastructure, architecture and traffic flow work together, spawning economic growth.

With the completed development master plan we will have a clear idea about which projects make sense — where they should be located and in what priority.

Zoning and building ordinances will be reviewed to standardize, simplifying development approvals. Funding sources will also be addressed.

The town now also has the tremendous additional asset of Colonial Dorchester State Park along the Ashley River as our diamond in the rough.

I want to thank Mayor Bill Collins for his work toward the annexation of Colonial Dorchester. He was instrumental in inviting the involvement of several large property owners in Oakbrook.

I am encouraged by the enthusiasm of the mayor, council and staff, along with that of the community, for this development master plan.

For property owners whose land is not incorporated in the town, this would be a great opportunity to request annexation and benefit from the development plan as it moves forward.

Contact the town planning department and learn of the economic benefits of incorporation.

As the plan moves forward, I urge all taxpayers to become involved and make your ideas heard.

Bob Jackson Council Member

Oakbrook, District 6

Summer Ridge Drive

Summerville