‘It’s going to be the blueprint:’ Greenville releases draft development code for future growth

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 10:40 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The City of Greenville released the draft of its new development code. The code will guide growth and took more than a year to write. While zoning regulations might not be an interesting topic to most people, this new code could be the difference between you living next door to a park or a 10-story building.

“This development code takes away surprises,” said Beth Brotherton, the Communications Director for the City of Greenville.

The “roadmap”, “guide,” “blueprint”, whatever you want to call it, the 400+ page document will determine what growth will look like in the City of Greenville.

“This is really forward looking. It’s thinking ahead to how do we plan knowing that people are moving here and knowing that Greenville is growing” said Brotherton.

The Greenville 2040 plan set the priorities for the future. Like affordable housing, greenspace and transportation. The new development or zoning code puts it into action.

“It is the ability to look at a map and say, ‘Oh, you can put a big building there, that’s where a 19-story building can go, thank goodness, it can’t go next to my house because only residential stuff can go here’,” Brotherton explained.

City officials say this code is interactive and easy to read for the average person. For a developer, it gives clear guidelines for what they can and can’t build in a particular area. It’s been more than a decade since the city wrote a new code. Recent growth has only amplified concerns about displacement.

“Every good thing does come with a cost. And so we have to ensure that all of the greatness in Greenville does not delete the population of the Black community” said Yvonne Reeder, a lifelong Nicholtown resident and community advocate.

Reeder hopes the new code will prevent uncontrolled growth and provide more affordable housing.

“In Nicholtown, we’re only like a quarter of a mile from downtown. And because of the fast growth of downtown, we just want to make sure that we’re not just gobbled up” she said.

The code specifies design requirements and also offers height incentives to developers in exchange for affordability.

“It is going to be the blueprint for development and for growth,” said Brotherton.


Coffee with the Code, Conversational Sessions with the Project Team

8 to 11 a.m. | Thursday, January 26

Prisma Health Welcome Center at Unity Park, 111 Welborn Street

Evening Office Hours, Drop-In Open House Sessions

5 to 7 p.m. | Thursday, January 26

Greenville Convention Center, 1 Exposition Drive

If you can’t make it to those, all the information and the interactive map can be found here. There will be months of public input meetings and city officials expect the code to be approved by council sometime this Spring.