Greenville City Council votes no on building moratorium; compromises with resolution protecting neighborhoods

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville’s city council rejected a plan Monday night that would have slowed down some new development in the city. Instead, council compromised on a resolution that will provide some interim protection for neighborhoods from over-development.

The proposal was brought to council back in March. The six-month pause on development was aimed at allowing leaders time to reassess the city’s Land Management Ordinance, which hasn’t been updated in years.

Council originally couldn’t decide whether or not to move forward with the moratorium, so leaders decided to give it some time to do some homework before coming together for a final vote.

“This is kind of the big compromise that everyone’s been waiting for,” said City Spokeswoman, Beth Brotherton. “While we re-write our land management ordinance which hasn’t been re-written in almost 14 years, there are some things that we really want staff to do and be aware of so that there isn’t this kind’ve explosion of development that we don’t want.”

Brotherton said this is all part of the GVL 2040 commitment to protecting neighborhoods and to keep development to clusters of chosen spaces, not near neighborhoods.

According to Brotherton, the resolution directs staff to address the following development issues in the LMO, when adjacent to single-family use properties:

  • Outdoor activity and dining
  • Commercial trash collection
  • Light pollution
  • Field changes to construction without Board, Commission, or staff approval
  • Lot coverage allowances for non-residential properties
  • Height transition for multi-family and non-residential buildings
  • Setback requirements
  • Landscape buffers requirements for non-residential and multi-family properties

The resolution also directs staff to study and bring back a recommendation (in 30 days) on the following development issues when adjacent to single family residential use properties.

  • Traffic and noise concerns
  • Stormwater controls
  • Parking requirements
  • Defined uses within zoning districts

“And then additionally come back within 30 days and talk about traffic concerns, noise concerns, stormwater and parking issues,” Brotherton said.

“Let’s not stop the good stuff that’s going on just because of the few things that are not going on well,” said City Councilman John DeWorken. “Instead, let’s look at how we can do text amendments to aggressively address the issues that we may be having along our corridors.”

He said it’s a commitment from council to focus on neighborhoods.

“I thought tonight was a really solid step forward in making sure that we protect neighbors but we also promote really robust good economic growth along our corridors.”

City staff will be creating a webpage for community members to voice their concerns if they feel development is creeping too close to their homes. That website is expected to be launched in the coming days.

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