Greenville County Council introduces moratorium to stop permits for used car lots

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – An Upstate community may set new limits on the kinds of business that move in next door.

Tuesday night, Greenville County Council introduced a moratorium that would stop used car lots from popping up on the White Horse Road corridor.

“District 25 has been the dumping ground for years,” said County Councilman Ennis Fant.

Fant says that won’t the case anymore, and he’s starting with used car lots.

“Used car lots are eyesores, and they’ve really run down property values and really hurt this area,” Fant said.

He introduced a moratorium that wouldn’t allow any more permits for used car lots on White Horse Rd from Old White Horse Rd near Furman to Highway 8 in Ware Place until 2018.

“Giving the county a chance to study the White Horse Road corridor to find a better and higher use for the road other than used car lots to help spawn economic growth,” Fant said.

Last month, council voted down a zoning appeal to make a new used car lot in the Welcome community which spurred the proposed moratorium. Fant says people will buy old residential homes, make the home the offices, and put the car lot on what used to be the front yard.

In Fant’s district, he says there are 41 used car lots on the road between the Highway 123 and Augusta Rd intersections.

“All the banners, the flags, the signs, it looked like a circus,” said resident Terry Turner.

Neighborhood associations banned together and collected nearly 250 signatures on a petition to put a stop to a neighborhood that was changing before their eyes.

“We had restaurants,” Turner said. “We had grocery stores.”

Now, steel and wheels paint the street corners along with unwanted neighbors.

“With that the blight that it brings, the title loans and things, there’s lots that follow it,” Turner said.

Neighbors along with Fant say they’re going to tackle limiting Title Loan shops as well, but for now, they’re taking it one issue at a time.

The second reading for the used car lot moratorium will be at the county council meeting in two weeks.

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