Planning Commission approves Greenville’s new development code

Published: May. 15, 2023 at 10:55 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - After more than two years of work by city planning staff, Greenville’s “blueprint” was approved. The Planning Commission voted unanimously in favor of the new development code, but it still needs final approval.

Over 40 people stepped up to speak at Monday’s public hearing. After almost three hours of public comment, the consensus is the plan isn’t perfect, but most people who spoke felt it is necessary and meets Greenville’s growing needs.

“It’s been a long time and a lot of work to get to this point,” said Assistant City Manager Shannon Lavrin.

The GVL 2040 plan is the idea, and the new code is the thing that will bring those ideas to life.

“Rezoning is not about overhauling our town’s character. It’s about adapting to our growing needs,” said a Nicholtown neighborhood leader, Yvonne Reader, as she spoke in favor of the new code.

Most public comments were surrounding affordable housing and neighborhood preservation.

“The current zoning practices have led to the current crisis of unaffordable housing, gentrification and wrong-size development in many of our neighborhoods. The new code protects all of our neighborhoods and the people who live there,” said Rev. Stacey Mills joined by several members of his Mountain View Baptist Church congregation.

City staff argued the code protects neighborhoods by detailing specific height and scale restrictions. Others argue the code doesn’t do enough and needs more time for review and input.

“We’ve already hurt vulnerable established neighborhoods with development over the past few years at an alarming rate. We can’t afford to get this wrong this time,” said Paula Fulghun, a concerned resident.

Organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the Greenville Housing Fund backed the city’s developer incentives to create more affordable housing.

“It won’t stop gentrification as we need it to; it’s a bleeding wound. But it will do something, it has to do something,” said Planning Commissioner Pamela Adams.

On that note----the commission passed it unanimously, sending a recommendation to the city council to approve it. They added a few specific concerns, like zoning on a Tindal Avenue property, that they would like to review later. The meeting closed with applause and a standing ovation for the planning staff’s hard work.

Next, the code will go to the city council for approval. There will also be a six-month review period after the code is adopted to allow staff to make any changes.

Helpful links:

View the Updated Draft Development Code

View Proposed Modifications to Draft Development Code - As of April 28, 2023 (PDF)

Other Development Code stories:

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

‘Not a lot of cities are doing that:’ How could Greenville’s new development code create affordable housing?

“Say No To Rezoning:” Greenville woman starts petition, bringing attention to draft development code