GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Controversy over rezoning in Greenville continues. Residents say they are concerned for what’s to come but the city says its 2040 plan will be beneficial to everyone.

“We are a fast-growing region of the country,” Greenville Mayor Knox White said. “Greenville and the upstate are growing fast. The city is participating in that. It is not a matter of whether we grow, but how we grow.”

Greenville Mayor Knox White says the city’s zoning code is essentially a rulebook for development.

He says about five years ago, the council unanimously decided that the zoning code, which was written in the 70s was no longer efficient.

Mayor White says the city is working to adopt a new one soon.

“It is going to fortify single existing neighborhoods,” White said. “In fact, it actually expands single existing neighborhoods under a zoning code. Provide more greenspace incentives, and walkability, and basically generate stopping sprawl and commercial development encroaching neighborhoods. That is what it is all about.”

Mayor White says the new zoning code is meant to calm the growth Greenville is expected to experience, while also keeping the city up-to-date and unique. Many residents say they feel the proposed plans will do the opposite in their neighborhoods.

“My little neighborhood here has always been very quiet,” Anita Clark said. “I have lived here for 13 years and we are by the airport but it is surprisingly quiet. There is a new very ambitious plan in place to make this a destination zone.”

Anita Clark says the area where she lives has been identified as an “opportunity zone”  and adds both commercial and residential space to her neighborhood. 

She says she would like to see the vote paused until each resident is aware of how it will affect them.

“I have actually gone and talked to city planning on four occasions and the answers I got were not clear,” Clark said. “I was told I might but shouldn’t be non-conformity but certain aspects of my home might be non-conformity and I need to know because once this change occurs it has very serious ramifications.”

Mayor White says the intent of the ordinance is to maintain a high quality of life throughout Greenville while identifying commercial sectors for development and still protecting existing neighborhoods.

The planning commission will hold a public hearing on May 15th at Unity Park at 4 p.m.