The city’s proposal to rezone the Pendleton Street corridor between South Main and Academy streets was prompted by residents’ concerns that development be compatible with surrounding neighborhoods, the city planning staff told members of the Greenville Planning Commission.
The city’s application to rezone 103 acres was put on hold by the Planning Commission at its August meeting after Chairman Jason Tankersley said he wasn’t in favor of blanket rezoning and would need more information.
Ginny Stroud, the city’s community development manager, said at a Sept. 27 work session the rezoning is designed to better-align zoning with current uses, encourage development compatible with the surrounding neighborhood, and create zoning that better connects the area with downtown and the Village of West Greenville.
City Planning Director Jay Graham said the proposal would generally down-zone property on South Academy from C-2, local commercial district, to either RDV, redevelopment district, or RM-2, single and multifamily residential district. On Pendleton Street, the proposal would generally down-zone property from C-3, regional commercial district, to RDV.
Graham said the Pendleton Street corridor between South Main and Academy streets is an important connection, linking three walkable areas: downtown, the West End, and the Village of West Greenville. Academy Street between Markley and Pendleton streets also links Heritage Green, downtown, the Kroc Center, AJ Whittenberg Elementary, and the new Unity Park with these neighborhoods, he said.
Expanding the RDV designation is compatible with the changing conditions in West Greenville, West End, and Sterling, Graham said.
The city’s zoning application said the RDV designation would guide redevelopment and increase the viability of the area by limiting certain uses and encouraging a pedestrian orientation with a mixed-used pattern of retail, office, and residential development.
At the work session, Tankersley asked whether the city had considered extending the city’s central business district and its C-4 zoning. Stroud said C-4 zoning had its issues, mainly the lack of required parking and no height restrictions.
Planning Commissioner Meg Terry said she didn’t think C-4 zoning would be good for the neighborhood.
Commissioner Catherine Smith said that “looking from 20,000 feet up, [the proposed zoning] seems like a better transition between downtown and what the city is hoping for in the Village.”
Commissioner Diane Eldridge said, “I personally don’t see any negatives.”
Stroud said the city is concerned that C-3 zoning allows bars and drive-thrus.
“This is very close to residential areas,” she said.
Graham said one commercial-property owner has plans to raze the business on his property and construct a nightclub. “We’re trying for softer edges. The neighbors are expressing to us they feel the entire neighborhood is disappearing because of expanding commercial use. Their plea to us is to preserve their neighborhood,” Graham said.
The commission instructed city staff to come up with a list of pros and cons, work with property owners with concerns about the proposal, and check with the consultants working on the city’s new downtown master plan.
The Planning Commission could consider the rezoning as early as its October meeting.