Greenville County Council votes to reconsider development plans for Old Grove Road

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GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville County Council voted Tuesday night to send a development proposal back to the drawing board. The plan would add dozens of homes to Old Grove Road.

Council was originally expected to to hold a final vote during the zoning ordinance’s final reading Tuesday night, but now new plans are in the works.

“The original proposal was an R12,” said Greenville County Councilman Ennis Fant who represents District 25. “They would’ve been able to build between 500 and 550 new homes all valued at 300-thousand dollars which is three times the value of the area homes.”

The plan has had many outspoken critics.

“I can’t support a project that could possibly end in gentrification for people in my district,” said Greenville County Councilman Lynn Ballard who represents District 26.

Which is something that worries resident Mo-ta Crawford. She said the original plan would have increased her property taxes and her neighbors.

“I have a lot of senior neighbors who have lived in this community for 30-40 plus years, that have just paid off their homes and this is their forever home,” Crawford said. “And this would drive their taxes up on fixed incomes. The income is not increasing, but their property taxes will.”

County Councilman Fant suggested re-working that proposal.

“What we were able to do is get them to come back, only 80-percent of the houses would be what they wanted to build them, 20-percent would be affordable,” Councilman Fant said. “And we’re going to get money from the developer to put sidewalks on Old Grove from the school all the way up to White Horse to get the children out of the street.”

The new plans will be put into a Flexible Review District, which means the developer will have to make their commitment clear from the beginning.

“And so the county is involved every step of the way,” Councilman Fant said. “Unlike a regular re-zoning, once you re-zone it you can’t hold them accountable to anything.”

Earlier Tuesday, the developer submit plans that included concessions, like adding affordable housing and sidewalks.

Council members like Chris Harrison who represent District 21 said he thinks Tuesday night’s vote is just delaying the inevitable.

“To sum it up, I think the concessions we all saw and heard was a good thing,” Councilman Harrison said. “I think everybody’s in favor of that, I just don’t think procedurally there was any need to send it back as an FRD.”

Greenville County’s Planning and Development Committee is expected to discuss this ordinance again within the next 30 days.

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