How Upstate Forever is responding to COVID-19

Our Greenville and Spartanburg offices have closed while Upstate Forever staff work from home to help protect the health of each other, our families, and our communities. But while we are not together in the office, we remain together in our continued efforts to protect our region's critical lands, waters, and unique character.

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Action Alert: Join us to oppose the plan for an 862-home subdivision in South Greenville

July 21st, 2019

UPDATE 

7/24/19 at 6:15pm: The Planning Commission has voted NOT to approve the Garden Oaks development plan at this evening's meeting! Thank you to the Planning Commission for making the right call, and thanks to all who came out or sent emails — your voice does matter!

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Join Upstate Forever at the Greenville County Planning Commission meeting this Wednesday, July 24 at 4:30 pm at County Square as we oppose the 862-home Garden Oaks subdivision proposed in South Greenville off Bessie Road near U.S. 25. Read more about the proposed subdivision here.

Why we are opposed to this development

Upstate Forever rarely gets involved on specific development proposals. However, in this case, we have deemed it necessary. It is our position that the subdivision fails to meet criteria identified in Article 3.1 of Greenville County’s Land Development Regulations, which states that proposed subdivisions must meet all of the following:

  • Adequate existing infrastructure and transportation systems exist to support the project; 
  • The project is compatible with the surrounding land use density; 
  • The project is compatible with the site’s environmental conditions, such as but not limited to, wetlands, flooding, endangered species and/or habitat, and historic sites and/or cemeteries. 

The plan for Garden Oaks does not meet these criteria, for the following reasons.

Adequate infrastructure does not exist.

Regarding infrastructure, it is clear that rural Greenville County is no place for a development of this scale and design. The roads in that area are simply not equipped to support such a development, and it would be an unwise use of taxpayer dollars to expand capacity in such a rural setting. We know — in the long term — this sort of sprawling development generates far less in revenue than it costs in terms of services and infrastructure maintenance. 

The development is not compatible with its rural setting.

In addition, the proposed development is surrounded by currently undeveloped tracts of land — it is certainly not in keeping with the surrounding land use density. An approval of Garden Oaks by the commission could set a precedent in this unzoned area of South Greenville for the type of development to be approved there in the years ahead. 

The project would threaten the integrity of a planned mitigation bank.

This enormous subdivision is sited directly adjacent to a long-planned mitigation bank. Staff from Upstate Forever have been in discussions with the owner of the 293-acre parcel and relevant government agencies for nearly a year regarding a future mitigation bank on the property. A development of this size threatens the very conservation values the mitigation bank is being established to protect.

If you are concerned about this proposed development, please join us at the meeting on Wednesday.

A high number of attendees shows the Planning Commission that this issue is important to the community. You can find the Planning Commission agenda here. Please share this page with any friends, family, or neighbors who might be interested.

Preliminary plan of the Garden Oaks subdivision via the Greenville News

 

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