“The blueprint,” almost ready, as Greenville Planning Commission gives feedback on zoning code

Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 11:00 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Work on the blueprint for future growth continues in the City of Greenville, it’s otherwise known as the new development code. Tuesday night, the planning commission had another four-hour-long meeting.

The last meeting was an opportunity for the public to give input. This time, it was the planning commission’s turn.

“I feel like we’re continuing to evolve to make a better plan, a better map, and a better code,” said Greenville Assistant City Manager, Shannon Larvin.

After hearing from more than 1,200 Greenville residents over 4 months, the planning commission offered its expertise. They went down the line, each member discussed their concerns or critiques of the draft code. They talked about garages, fences, open spaces, curb cuts, and more. One big talker was affordable housing.

“I just want to make sure that we’re being extremely cognisant of the people that live there today, the families that will in the future, and those who’ve lived there a very long time,” said Commissioner Meg Terry.

Other commissioners questioned why the affordable housing bonus is linked with open space. Requiring developers to pay a fine which the city will use to create open space, in order to receive the bonus. Some argued it would hinder developers from using the bonus. They also questioned if the new affordable housing development goal of 10% be increased to 15%.

Another talker was accessory dwelling units or ADUs, a step the city hopes will create more affordable options. After early concerns, staff amended the code, requiring property owners to live in either the primary home or the dwelling, and set size restrictions.

“If I move into the ADU and then rent out the more expensive house, we haven’t done anything for affordable housing,” said Commissioner Jeff Randolph, about that change.

With Randolph’s concern, commissioners directed to staff to require owners to live in the primary house. Now staff will need to make a few other tweaks before this code is set in stone.

If you missed the opportunities to learn and comment on the code, the city will soon announce another series of learning labs. The continued planning commission deliberations will take place on May 2nd or May 15th.

To view or learn more about the code and zoning, click here.