GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – A proposed storage facility for Wade Hampton Boulevard is upsetting some Greenville residents.
The storage facility was approved last Thursday by the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA).
Some residents and even some members of Greenville City Council spoke out about the vote at Monday’s council meeting.
Some people said this is a clear violation of a development plan, and some also questioned if the decision was ethical.
The BZA, which is made up of volunteers, approved a developer’s application for a new storage facility at Wade Hampton Boulevard near Church Street.
“The BZA had in front of it last week, an application to provide a special exception to a storage facility. They granted that special exception and to say that we’re disappointed is probably an understatement,” said John DeWorken, Greenville City Council member, District 1. “Not only council, but also members of the community because in an effort to try to transform Wade Hampton Boulevard from an Industrial Corridor to a Neighborhood Boulevard, certainly does not include a storage facility.”
“To have three storage facilities at the bottom of Wade Hampton Boulevard at the very Gateway of Greenville, does not put our best foot forward,” DeWorken said.
Some people feel this goes against the Wade Hampton Boulevard Strategic Plan, which said storage facilities can’t be built close together.
“If you look at page 62 of the plan, which has already been referenced, it says you cannot have another storage unit within a quarter of a mile,” a resident said during Monday’s meeting. “The Life Storage that was put there a couple of years ago, went in direct opposition of the plan. This is a plan that you all approved unanimously that is being completely disregarded.”
DeWorken said this plan was put together to transform the area.
“The community in 2019, put together a strategic plan. 2,000 people, 1,000’s of hours, tons of meetings. So, they came up with a plan of what they wanted to see on Wade Hampton Boulevard,” DeWorken said. “What they want to see was really high-quality retail, restaurants, office, residential, multifamily and a higher quality.”
During the meeting, DeWorken said this was a “punch in the gut” for this community.
“I think when there’s a misstep such as what I think, and others think on BZA Thursday night and their decision that you always take a holistic look at the process, the people. Do you have the best people. Do you have the best process, and when there’s a misstep like what we think there was on Thursday night, you’re going to take a look at all options are on the table,” DeWorken said.
The big question many may be asking is if the BZA’s decision be reversed. It’s a question that some council members asked the City Attorney on Monday night.
When 7NEWS asked DeWorken this question at the end of the meeting, he said they’re “exploring all options.”
Dorothy Dowe, Greenville City Councilwoman said they will now take a closer look at BZA’s procedures, including the makeup of that board.