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Greenville County is growing rapidly, with 160,000+ new residents projected by 2040. The impacts of that growth will largely be determined by how and where we accommodate it.
Greenville County’s land use policies are antiquated and fail to address the community needs of today. Too often, the negative impacts of these policies disproportionately affect lower income communities and people of color.
We must embrace new policies that guide growth in urban areas – policies that expand housing and mobility choices, enable robust transit, and protect our urban tree canopy and green spaces, so vital to residents’ health and quality of life.
In rural areas, where few development regulations currently exist, we are consuming land at an unprecedented rate. If we continue on this path, nearly 206,000 acres of the county’s farms, forests, and open space may be converted to strip malls, parking lots, and low-density subdivisions by 2040. That pattern of growth is exorbitantly expensive to serve with the revenues generated by new development unlikely to cover even half of the costs to serve it.
Effective local planning and policy-making can only occur when many community voices – not just those of developers and special interest groups – are at the table working together to identify durable, equitable solutions.
Upstate Forever is working to educate citizens about the impacts of growth choices and encourage them to engage in community planning discussions. At the same time, we are working with elected leaders to help them understand the importance of proactive growth management and equip them with the tools they need to address community issues through meaningful land use policy.
Watch the video below to learn more about what our current way of growing is ultimately costing Greenville County.