Greenville city planners and members of the consulting team helping to revamp the city’s zoning and land use code updated residents on progress during a virtual presentation July 13.
The effort is part of the city’s strategic GVL2040 vision to improve the city’s livability as it continues to experience rapid growth.
The “Code Connections” presentation was part of a monthly briefing program to keep citizens and stakeholders apprised of progress and followed a similar presentation to Greenville City Council at a work session July 11.
Assistant city manager Shannon Lavrin opened the meeting and said this seventh installment in the series would explore work on developing new zoning districts and uses and how the city will help shape development plans going forward.
One of the principal challenges constraining development is the supply of land, explained Thomas Eddignton, director of planning and design for CZB, the Maine-based consulting firm working with the city to update its land use policies and regulations.
Eddignton said that while planning efforts in previous decades tended to be geared toward accommodating vehicular traffic, new guidelines will be weighted toward pedestrians in an effort to create a more walkable community.
“Dependance on cars, ideally, will be reduced,” he said.
Because the supply of land for development is constrained, future growth will involve infill where densities and building heights will necessarily be higher, said Eddington. New zoning categories like, for instance, a range of mixed-use (MX) options, will cluster similar projects into “nodes” and “corridors” created for the purpose. Eddington explained that one of the key reasons for adopting this approach was to ensure Greenville’s existing neighborhoods retain their character and remain largely unchanged.
Adding a new range of zoning classifications will give city planners more flexibility and far more effective tools in guiding the city’s growth.
Work on further refining the city’s land use code and policies will continue for the remainder of the year and is on track to go to public hearings and the process of adoption by early next year, Lavrin said.
For more information, visit the city’s code portal at greenvillesc.gov/182/Greenville-Development-Code.
Key elements new zoning regs will address:
- Limited amount of land available for development
- Maintaining the character of existing neighborhoods
- Shifting to a more walkable and pedestrian-oriented urban landscape
- Retaining and, where possible, expanding open space
- Streamlining and incentivizing the development of affordable housing