Greenville's bold goals mean big changes

November 28th, 2021
By Sherry Barrett

This article was originally published in the Fall/Winter 2021-2022 issue of the Upstate Advocate, Upstate Forever's twice-yearly publication. To read a digital copy of the complete publication, please click here.

The City of Greenville has launched a once-in-a-decade process to overhaul their zoning and land development regulations: the primary tools determining how and where growth takes place within City limits.

The new GVL Development Code (which will include zoning and land development regulations) will largely decide whether — and to what degree — the City achieves the bold outcomes identified in GVL2040, the comprehensive plan adopted unanimously by City Council in 2021.

One thing is for sure — if the City of Greenville wants to achieve the goals it set out in GVL2040, it needs a new way of growing, as the plan itself acknowledges. That means significant changes from "business as usual" when it comes to how we build and develop within City limits. 

What are GVL2040’s goals?

GVL2040’s desired outcomes are interdependent and rely on one another to ensure measurable progress on three priority issues:

  • Green Space & Environment: To preserve as much as 35% of remaining vacant land as open space
    or parkland to bolster quality of life and protect environmental assets.
  • Affordable Housing: To make at least 10% of all new housing units affordable.
  • Transportation & Mobility: To make alternative forms of mobility more accessible and appealing to reduce reliance on cars.

Choices and changes that will need to happen for the City to realize its goals

If we want to preserve greenspace...

  • We must significantly change HOW we develop.
  • We must build UP, not out.
  • We must prioritize including accessible greenspace and open space as part of new development.  

If we want more affordable housing choices near jobs & amenities...

  • We must create more diverse housing options.
  • We must build "right-size" buildings to suit their location. That means: 
    • Taller, larger footprint, well designed buildings along major streets.
    • Smaller scale, house-size buildings in walkable neighborhoods (i.e. duplexes, triplexes, mansion apartments, cottage courts).

If we want to reduce cars on the road...

  • We must significantly change how and where we develop.
  • We must create pockets of higher density, walkable, mixed-use development to make efficient public transit feasible.
  • We must invest in "complete streets" infrastructure for walking, biking, and transit.

Want to help shape Greenville's growth?

For updates and action alerts related to growth and land use in the City and County of Greenville, join our dedicated mailing list by visiting

Error Message