Neighbors at odds, as committee recommends denial of south Greenville housing proposal

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 10:34 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A proposal for a 53 acre project in south Greenville has neighbors split. The proposal is for an area of land near Woodmont High School. It’ll include 40 single family homes and 26,000 square feet of commercial space.

Monday night, the county planning and development committee voted on what comes next and it brought in a big crowd with a lot of opinions.

It’s a classic Greenville tale of growth in rural areas, some neighborhoods are concerned of the impacts new development might bring, others are begging for something new, the council committee sided with those against.

“Right now, I feel like I just hit a three-pointer at the end of the game,” said resident John Jennings, after the vote.

Even though they couldn’t speak, the south Greenville residents made sure their opinions were heard. The crowd was a mix of residents—some holding signs saying “yes” others saying “no.”

“If you go to [Woodmont High School] and you want to get anything, you gotta drive,” said developer Jeff Randolph with The Randolph Group.

Randolph has done several similar projects in the county and downsized this one to meet concerns. Residents in favor say the students have to drive miles just to reach a store.

“Staff was in favor of this, the comprehensive plan was in favor of this and at the end of the day we were able to convince a significant number of people” said Randolph.

With zoning requirements met and a petition gathering more than 600 people in support, the planning commission approved the project last month. However, the biggest crowd in attendance at the meeting were those who like the countryside.

“We’re fighting to keep it that way, a whole lot of developers are moving to this area and I can see why they’d want to build there because it’s beautiful, but we like it out there the way it is,” said Jennings.

Those against are concerned about traffic, road and sewer conditions.

“I feel like the infrastructure has been grossly neglected in that area,” said Jennings.

For now, the fate of the land remains in limbo. The vote was 4 to 1. Councilmember Chris Harrison, the lone ‘yes’ vote, felt it was a good plan. The land is in councilmembers Ennis Fant and Rick Bradly’s districts—they both voted to deny the project. From here, it’ll go to the full council for a vote later this month.