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INDEX JOURNAL - 03/20/2024
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The map Greenwood has been using to determine its planned developments is the inverse of what other cities typically plan.

Tripp Muldrow, of consulting firm Arnett Muldrow and Associates, came to Monday’s Greenwood City Council meeting to offer some insight into the city’s pending housing stock. The city contracted with Muldrow to review the future land use map and housing policies, and offer recommendations for how Greenwood can better steer development in ways council sees as healthy.

Muldrow said the city has 2,654 housing units pipelined across all pending developments. The existing pipeline likely won’t be sold and occupied until 2039. The market appears saturated with approved and pending developments, he said.

Muldrow said he reviewed the document council and the joint city-county planning commission use to judge incoming developments when they seek to have a property rezoned. Usually, these land use maps reserve high-density housing in specific areas where the municipality wants that fostered.

“Your future land use map is almost reverse of what we see in most cities,” he said. “What y’all have is most of your older, inner neighborhoods are land use mapped high or medium-density residential, and then you really kind of jump the bypass with medium-density residential.”

Most of the city’s inner neighborhoods are zoned for low-density residential, which means the future land use map doesn’t line up with how land is currently being used. The city has little to no land zoned for multi-family residential.

“We’re seeing a massive trend in multi-family from all across the country right now, and it’s coming to South Carolina,” Muldrow said.

Between the city and county, the planning department is managing 48 total zoning districts, each with its own requirements and limits. Despite work considerations piling up on planning’s small staff, Muldrow said they have strong goals of discouraging residential sprawl, diversifying the housing stock, encouraging affordable housing and protecting existing developments.

Although Muldrow said he’ll be back to council in two weeks with more detailed policy recommendations, he had some initial guidance for its members. Amend the land use map to only plan for higher density development in specific areas reserved for it and leave everything else planned for low density. He said council should explore amending the comprehensive plan and zoning guidelines, along with looking at best practices for developing land uses that align community goals with providing a variety of housing options.

“All told, we think that map amendment is the most important thing,” Muldrow said. “It’s also probably one of the easiest things to do.”

Council unanimously approved first reading of a rezoning request for about half an acre at 110 Woodrow Ave., where a property owner is seeking to expand an existing State Farm office. A second rezoning request was postponed to a future meeting — a change of 8.5 acres at 212 Kirksey Drive E. to a high-density zoning district. Council wanted to wait until it hears the upcoming recommendations from Muldrow before making a decision on this matter.

Council voted to hear a petition for annexing about 44.5 acres on Sweetwater Road into the city. The request will come before council in the future.

In other business, council:

  • Appointed Ken McCoy and Glenn Williams to the Greenwood Board of Architectural Review, and reappointed Walter Roark. It also reappointed Shannon Adams to the joint city-county Building Inspection Board of Appeals.
  • Agreed to let the city manager enter a design build contract with Sossamon Construction to spend no more than $250,000 to pave and fix flooding issues on the lower Maxwell Avenue alley.
  • Approved a a proposed 2024 County Transportation Committee paving list for the city, which will request funding from the CTC to repair roads in the Wisewood, Mill Pond, Auburn Place and Maxwell Springs neighborhoods.
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