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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Managing Rapid Growth

Smarter Land Planning in Spartanburg

Why is local land use planning important?

Spartanburg County is growing, with more than 60,000 new residents projected by 2040. Rapid change is already underway, as are planning processes to better manage anticipated growth. These planning processes are key opportunities to influence what future change will look like. 

Whether you live or work in Spartanburg County or just care deeply about its future, our Land Planning & Policy team will keep you informed and actively engaged in shaping Spartanburg's future growth. Click here to sign up for our Planning & Growth Updates in Spartanburg County email newsletter.

Current initiatives



In late 2019, Upstate Forever and partners hosted renowned walkability advocate Jeff Speck in Spartanburg. Speck is a city planner, urban designer, and the author of Walkable City and, most recently, Walkable City Rules. View the presentation on YouTube

Spartanburg County Comprehensive planning

Spartanburg County Council adopted a new comprehensive plan — "Forward Together: Building a Better Spartanburg County" — in April 2019, a necessary step preceding the anticipated adoption and implementation of Area Performance Zoning (APZ) for the southwestern region of the county this year. A newly drafted Subdivision Ordinance is expected to advance in tandem with APZ over the coming months.

These planning tools represent a step in the right direction toward more proactive planning for future growth across Spartanburg County through the county's ongoing Area Performance Planning (APP) initiative. To track progress on the APZ ordinance, sign up for our Planning & Growth Updates in Spartanburg County email newsletter. 


In late 2018 and continuing in 2019, Upstate Forever actively engaged in the United Way of the Piedmont's (UWP) Opportunity Housing initiative. Upstate Forever was a lead sponsor for UWP's 2019 Spartanburg Housing Summit that highlighted Missing Middle Housing as one strategy to help address the need for more affordable housing. 


In 2019, Landrum officials are pursuing new ordinances and amendments to align the town's zoning with Envision Landrum, the town's 2017 comprehensive plan update. 


Past projects


In October of 2018, Upstate Forever completed our two-year grassroots citizen education and community visioning initiative in Boiling Springs, a rapidly developing bedroom community in unincorporated Spartanburg County. The citizen-led community group Heart of Boiling Springs will continue to lead efforts to ensure the initiative's outcomes inform future Area Performance Planning for the Central Region of Spartanburg County.


Photo via Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau

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