City to hold public workshop on downtown design guidelines

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The City of Greenville is updating its Downtown Design Guidelines and will hold three workshops Tuesday to get public input.

The city has hired Design Workshop, a national architecture, planning and urban design firm, to consolidate and update the guidelines amid some public criticism that explosive development is undercutting the character of Greenville’s pedestrian-friendly, urban-village city center.

A public workshop is scheduled 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Aloft Greenville Downtown, 5 N. Laurens St., where consultants will present the project approach, ask for feedback about the current guidelines and gather input on what updated guidelines should address.

The presentation will be interactive and will be followed by a collaborative mapping exercise to identify current opportunities and challenges. Participants are encouraged to bring photos of design features in Greenville and other cities that they would like to see more of downtown. Childcare will be available.

A focus group for designers, including architects and landscape architects will be held earlier Tuesday, from 10-11:30 a.m., also at the Aloft.

A second focus group, for real estate developers, will be held the same day from 2-3:30 p.m., also at the Aloft.

The overall project’s scope includes reviewing existing studies and master plans and incorporating and updating past recommendations with current market and design trends.

The goal is to create guidelines that preserve and enhance Greenville’s character while allowing growth to continue, according to city officials.

The updated design guidelines will look at items such as building materials; height, mass and scale; how to ensure all developments are pedestrian-friendly; how side streets are treated; and public and private space, according to Mary Douglas Hirsch, the city’s downtown development manager.

– Staff writer Cindy Landrum contributed.

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