GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – For the first time in more than 20 years, the city of Greenville has proposed a new development code.

“It’s going to ensure that we have better development, the right development in the right places,” said Edward Kinney, principal of the Urban Design Division for the City of Greenville’s Planning Department.

The development code will put the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan into action and be used as a guideline for growth.

“If you live in a residential neighborhood, chances are there won’t be a whole lot different for you moving forward,” Kinney explained. “But, if you live in or work in a building in a more dense commercial district, then there’s going to be some excellent opportunities for us to densify the city, control development and establish architectural guidelines.”

However, some residents say the city is already overbuilt.

“We have these big houses that are looking down on our property now,” said Greenville resident Tom Clarke. “We had some privacy, but now they’re building these huge monster structures — two on one lot — just taking away from the heritage and culture of our neighborhood. It’s destroying everything we hold dear.”

The new code will allow residents to build secondary units on their properties, such as an apartment over a garage. But, short-term rentals, like Airbnbs, will continue to be illegal in some areas.

“Short-term rentals are still allowed in areas where you might find hotels or motels,” Kinney said. “But, in our neighborhoods, short-term rentals will still not be allowed.”

The code also invites developers to build affordable housing.

“Affordable housing is a really critical issue in our community,” Kinney said. “We’ve instituted a new bonus system where developers can voluntarily – if they want greater density – contribute to our open space funds to help solve our affordable housing crisis.”

City leaders hope this code can be used for the next several decades. They encourage residents to review it and speak up if they have concerns. 

“We want to make sure that we get it right,” Kinney said. “If there are some things that we didnt get right, we want to be able to address them.”

How to learn more

The city is hosting Learning Labs on Thursday, March 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Monday, March 27 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at City Hall where residents and business owners can learn how the code will impact them.

There will be a special called meeting of the City of Greenville Planning Commission on Thursday, March 30 at 4 p.m. at City Hall.

Residents who are interested in speaking at the hearing can register by clicking here.