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Action alert! Greenville County Council committee has weakened Article 3.1 replacement

June 11th, 2021
By Lisa Hallo

UPDATE (MONDAY, JUNE 14):

Last week, we sent out an action alert related to Article 3.1 (a local land development regulation) and the ordinance set to replace it. The replacement ordinance started out strong, but, to our frustration and disappointment, was greatly weakened by an ad hoc committee of Greenville County Council last week.

We got an update today that County Council members have not received many calls or emails from residents about the weakened proposal to replace Article 3.1. This is alarming news for the County's rural and unzoned areas.

Time is running out — Council is set to take up the replacement ordinance TOMORROW, and they need to hear from you. We must encourage Council to strengthen the ordinance, and that is much more likely to happen if they hear from many residents directly. You can be sure that Council has heard from special interests who are set to benefit from a weakened ordinance.

Scroll down for more details about the situation, the changes we'd like to see in the ordinance, and contact information for all Greenville County Council members.

The time is NOW to speak up against rampant suburban-style sprawl in rural Greenville County. Please contact your official TODAY, and share this with your Greenville County friends and neighbors who want to see meaningful protection in place for our remaining rural areas.


An ad hoc committee of Greenville County Council met this week to consider how to replace Article 3.1, a local land development regulation setting out basic criteria for subdivision approval in unincorporated parts of the county.

County staff developed a proposal for consideration that aimed to balance the sometimes competing interests of current and future residents, developers, property owners, and environmental and quality of life advocates. It was clear from discussions that staff spent countless hours thinking through how to effectively strike that balance.

In an incredibly disappointing move, however, the committee ignored many of staff's recommendations — amending and greatly weakening staff's proposal — especially as related to meaningful open space protection.

Council will take up the replacement ordinance sent forward by the ad hoc committee on Tuesday, June 15 at 4 pm in Conference Room D at County Square (301 University Ridge). Citizens can attend in person or tune in via the county's livestream. See the meeting agenda for details.

It is very important that Council hear from residents on this issue! Contact members TODAY and tell them:

  • Areas such as high tension power lines, gas and oil lines, swimming pools, etc., should NOT be counted as "open space." Rather, important natural areas such as wetlands, floodplains, steep slopes, prime soils, habitat for endangered and threatened species, and productive farms and forestlands — as well as historic sites — should be prioritized for meeting open space requirements.
     
  • The open space target should be increased to at least 40%. With a minimum lot size requirement of only 6,000 square feet, allowing 60% of a parcel to be developed provides ample space to build new homes (not to mention that all parcels have some portion of undevelopable land that will count towards open space requirements).
     
  • Protections for endangered & threatened species — along with their habitats — must be included in local ordinances. State law places the primary responsibility for land regulation in the hands of local governments — with the expectation that local regulations will support implementation of state and federal law, including the Endangered Species Act.
     
  • The 3.1 replacement proposal should NOT be weakened further by striking any additional recommendations made by staff. Doing so may be what a handful of developers want, but NOT what is in the best interests of current or future residents.

You can find county council member contact information here and below. Don't know who represents you? Enter your address here to find out.

Joe Dill (District 17)
jdill@greenvillecounty.org
864.380.6534

Michael Barnes (District 18)
mbarnes@greenvillecounty.org
864.877.9457

Willis Meadows (District 19)
WMeadows@greenvillecounty.org
864.419.8419

Steve Shaw (District 20)
SShaw@greenvillecounty.org
864.553.9713

Chris Harrison (District 21)
CHarrison@greenvillecounty.org
864.467.4917

Stan Tzouvelekas (District 22)
stantz@greenvillecounty.org
864.467.4958

Xanthene Norris (District 23)
XNorris@greenvillecounty.org
864.271.6798

Liz Seman (District 24)
LSeman@greenvillecounty.org
864.501.4126

Ennis Fant (District 25)
efant@greenvillecounty.org
864.467.2787

Lynn Ballard (District 26)
LBallard@greenvillecounty.org
864.243.0014

Butch Kirven (District 27)
BKirven@greenvillecounty.org
864.228.9300

Dan Tripp (District 28)
DTripp@greenvillecounty.org
864.962.1093


Lisa Hallo is the Land Policy Director at Upstate Forever and can be contacted at lhallo@upstateforever.org.

Want to receive updates and action alerts such as this one directly in your inbox? Join our Greenville County Land Planning & Policy Issues email list at upstateforever.org/email

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