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July 12th, 2021
For more than a year, Upstate Forever has worked alongside partners and citizens fighting to protect Greenville County's remaining forests, farmlands, and rural areas. The battle centers on Article 3.1 — a controversial local land development regulation setting out basic criteria for subdivision approval in unincorporated parts of the county.
Though imperfect, Article 3.1 is the only thing standing in the way of rampant suburban sprawl in unzoned areas of the county. Our position is that 3.1 should be improved and replaced....not simply repealed. Further, it should be replaced with regulations that align with recommendations in the county's comprehensive plan.
Greenville County is growing, and new homes at varying price points are needed for future residents. However, regulations that encourage sprawling, leapfrog development into the most rural areas of the county are not in the best interests of anyone – especially taxpayers. Revenues generated by such development come nowhere near the costs to serve it, and such development uses land incredibly inefficiently — consuming valuable farmlands and forests unnecessarily.
Here is how we would like to see the 3.1 replacement ordinance proposal strengthened:
The fight regarding Article 3.1 has been going on for more than a year and has been filled with confusion, frustration, and even litigation.
This past June, county staff developed a proposed 3.1 replacement 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 that staff had taken great time, care, and consideration in crafting the proposal.
In an incredibly disappointing move, however, an Ad Hoc Committee of Council ignored many of staff's recommendations — amending and greatly weakening their proposal — especially as related to meaningful open space protection.
On July 20th, Greenville County Council will hold a public hearing and vote at 2nd reading on the Ad Hoc Committee's inadequate 3.1 replacement ordinance proposal. Mark your calendar for July 20th at 6 pm and plan to attend this very important Council meeting at County Square (301 University Ridge, Greenville, SC).
Joe Dill (District 17)
Michael Barnes (District 18)
Willis Meadows (District 19)
Steve Shaw (District 20)
Chris Harrison (District 21)
Stan Tzouvelekas (District 22)
Xanthene Norris (District 23)
Liz Seman (District 24)
Ennis Fant (District 25)
Lynn Ballard (District 26)
Butch Kirven (District 27)
Dan Tripp (District 28)
If you'd like 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.