Greenville County Council is nearing a final vote on a rezoning petition to permit developers to construct more than 400 new homes in an industrial area near Grove Elementary School. These projects will impact many homeowners along Old Grove Road — especially those who have lived there for many years! This roadway is a typical, two-lane country road without sidewalks or street lights.
Let’s be clear. These new homes are not “affordable housing units” or “starter homes”! The base price will be $300,000! Most of the existing homes are valued at less than half that amount. If approved residents, many of whom are older folks, will face higher property taxes and irreversible changes to their primarily-rural community.
This area falls into two different Council Districts – 25 and 26 – represented by Ennis Fant and Lynn Ballard. Together, they represent almost 90,000 constituents! Based on objections from those who live nearby, both have consistently opposed this gentrification project from its very first public hearing. They both spoke against it at the Planning and Development Committee hearing, and they both voted “NAY” when it came before the full County Council! Yet, several County Council members are still refusing to acquiesce to their colleagues or the will of the voters!
Furthermore, some council members may not be “objective” because of their direct involvement in real estate transactions near and around the subject property and transactions elsewhere in the county. Others may be beholden to developers who contributed to their campaigns! Regardless, members of the County Council should not be putting their personal interests above the well-being of 90,000 residents in Districts 25 and 26!
There is more to this story! Perhaps someone should look deeper!
Ron Tamaccio, concerned citizen