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City Council tables ordinance halting commercial construction

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The Greenville City Council voted Monday night to move forward on an ordinance that places a six-month moratorium on all multifamily and non-residential construction directly adjacent to single family homes due to concerns about “commercial creep” and alignment with the GVL2040 development plan.

In a 5-2 vote, the council tabled the matter, under review for a first reading, for an April meeting, according to a statement from the city.

The moratorium would apply to all zoning districts in the city aside from areas zoned as a central business district, an existing planned development or part of the Unity Park Neighborhood District, and according to the agenda, the moratorium would bide the city time to rewrite a land management ordinance consistent with its GVL 2040 development plan.

The plan emphasized future growth directed into specified “nodes,” or high density areas connected by major corridors, the preservation of 25% of the city’s vacant land and income restrictions on at least 10% of all new housing in the city.

“Rapid development and inconsistent land use regulations have strained the city’s infrastructure and resources, including roads and emergency services, and have negatively impacted neighborhood character,” according to a city news release. “This phenomenon, commonly known as ‘commercial creep,’ increases noise and litter and decreases available parking.”

The ordinance would apply to 2,800 acres of property across the city, according to the release, leaving 6,150 acres of land open for development under the moratorium.

Single family developments including townhomes and duplexes, assisted living facilities, projects with active applications or properties with prior approval will not be impacted by the ordinance.

The ordinance mimics a proposed Clemson city ordinance that bans the construction of apartment complexes, townhomes and mixed-use building, up for a Clemson City Council vote on March 25, as well as a Mount Pleasant moratorium further limiting resident construction permits passed in January, according to the release.

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