Public hearing draws dozens to meeting to express concerns over land development regulation changes

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville County Council debated rules for new subdivisions and whether or not the County’s Land Development Regulations should be amended or repealed.

Tuesday night’s public hearing generated lots of feedback from community members, who argue that without Article 3.1, there is no leg to stand on to prevent urban sprawl.

Article 3.1 regulates where developers can build new neighborhoods with requirements for the nearby roads, types of nearby development, and the impact the development would have on the surrounding environment.

Executive Director for Upstate Forever, Andrea Cooper, said she’s been involved in issues related to Article 3.1 for years.

She said various restrictions might negatively impact landowners, but that a lack of restriction negatively affects neighbors.

“Greenville County is growing, and we support efforts to expand affordable-workforce housing,” Cooper said. “At the same time, we support efforts to reduce sprawl, protect agricultural lands, and water quality, and improve livability for future generations.”

She said this can be done in places that are already urbanized.

Cooper was one of several who expressed ways to reshape the guidelines.

“Myself and others are here today begging you not to repeal 3.1,” said concerned citizen, Heather Collins. “Instead, amend it with a defined, consistent solution for today’s population and density growth.”

County Councilman Joe Dill oversaw Tuesday night’s public hearing as the Chairman for council’s Planning and Development Committee.

He said he’s in favor of having Article 3.1 tightened up as it’s an effort to have managed growth.

“Our goal is to try to bring something back that’ll work for the whole community and will not hurt anybody, but will work together to help everybody.”

Councilman Dill said council plans to take Tuesday night’s recommendations from the community for council to review and incorporate into their next meeting, planned for June 1st.

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