Residents packed the Bells Crossing Elementary school cafeteria Tuesday night for a town hall meeting.
The discussion centered around rapid growth and development in the Simpsonville area, especially as it pertained to rezoning certain communities.
“The rezoning of what was planned is really what’s causing the incredible growth in this area,” said one resident, garnering applause from residents. She went on to say that she wasn’t opposed to development, but rather how officials were going about doing it.
Others took the microphone, expressing desire to tone down the building and instead, work on retaining green space in certain communities.
“We want it to be a place where they can retire, where their kids can retire, grow up, go to college, come back and want to live here,” Greenville County Council President, Butch Kirven, told 7 News. “Those kind of neighborhoods are what they want, and what I want, and what we’re going to try to achieve.”
One resident brought up increasing traffic in the Simpsonville area.
“My quality of life has drastically changed by sitting in traffic,” she announced.
A Sergeant from the Greenville County Sheriff’s office also spoke, offering safety tips to residents on how to prevent crime in neighborhoods as more people pass through the area.
Sheriff Will Lewis took a stand shortly after, addressing concerns about deputy response times to faraway areas like Five Forks.
He explained that the Sheriff’s Office needs to hire more full-time deputies in order to have a bigger presence in those communities, adding that there are a dozen or two candidates on the waiting list, but he would first need permission to hire.
“We don’t have enough of people, we don’t have enough full time positions at the Sheriff’s office,” Sheriff Lewis explained. “It’s one of the things that we need.”
Residents expressed that more town hall meetings were on the horizon.