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Greenville looking ahead to 2040

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The city of Greenville has embarked on a 10-year comprehensive plan called Greenville 2040. The first stages of the plan involved a meeting with the Ohio-based consulting firm Planning Next and the formation of a 44-member steering committee.

“We plan to launch with public meetings and events in January. We want to have public meetings around the city to get folks involved and to get everyone’s input, from businesses to city residents,” said Courtney Powell, senior development planner for the city of Greenville.

Greenville’s last comprehensive plan was done in 2009. Powell said most of the objectives in that plan have been met. But with a city growing in population and popularity, a new plan is needed. Also, “this is something state legislation allows jurisdictions to do,” she said. “A plan is done every 10 years. The legislation delegates state powers to local jurisdictions and through that legislation, topics to be addressed are things like housing, population growth, economic development and transportation – anything that makes a city gets evaluated and discussed.”

According to the planning website, topics in the Greenville 2040 Comprehensive Plan include population, economic development, natural resources, cultural resources, community facilities, housing, land use, transportation and priority investment.

“The plan will provide a broad scope look at things,” Powell said. “After all of the information gathering, the consultant will develop and recommend policies to guide us where development may occur and what decisions will need to be made. The city will use the plan on a day-to-day basis to stay on course.”

Leslie Fletcher, public information officer for the city of Greenville, said it is important to know the city has other plans underway that are separate from the 2040 comprehensive plan. She said the consultants will consider all of them when working on the Greenville 2040 plan.

One of the additional plans is the Downtown Strategic Master Plan, which kicked off in June and is a six-month process focused on the downtown area only. The objectives of the plan are to attract and retain businesses, residents, and visitors while ensuring the uniqueness and authenticity of downtown; position downtown for the attraction and retention of a workforce for the new economy, and continue the right blend of development and redevelopment, according to the city website.

Greenville County also is undertaking a comprehensive planning process, which the Greenville 2040 planning team will be mindful of and will coordinate with as appropriate, Fletcher said. Another plan in process is the Wade Hampton Corridor master plan, which will conclude at the end of the year. The city also just completed an update to the Historic Resources Survey, she said. The Greenville 2040 Comprehensive Plan is expected to be adopted in Spring 2020.

In addition to gathering information though public meetings, a steering committee has been established to plan outreach activities, discuss technical analysis and give input on the direction of the plan. The committee members were selected from a pool of 228 applicants.

John Boyanoski, president of Complete PR in Greenville, is a member of the steering committee.

“Greenville has become one of the premier communities in the country because of planning that involved its people. We saw this with Vision 2005 and Vision 2025. A roadmap was created by the people working with elected officials. It puts a little pressure on our group because we have a legacy to match when plotting out the next 20 years,” he said.

If members of the community cannot get to the public input meetings that will be scheduled next year, Fletcher said the city has purchased community engagement software from www.publicinput.com. She said Greenville’s site will go live in January.

Reach Teresa Cutlip at 864-720-1223.

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