Greenville Development Code
The City of Greenville adopted GVL2040, its new comprehensive plan, in February 2021. GVL2040 provides direction about how the city will grow and develop. The plan emphasizes community priorities of strategically concentrating new development in a few areas, increasing the amount of affordable housing, preserving and connecting open space, and enhancing transportation options such as walking, biking, and transit.
Download Monthly Update: October 2021 (PDF)
In late summer, the City began a project to rewrite its development code, which is the local law that regulates how and where development of all types can occur. A consulting team led by czb—the same firm that assisted the City with GVL2040—was retained to write the new code.
The consulting team worked through early fall with City Council and City staff to assess how the existing development code aligns with GVL2040 and how it addresses a variety of community concerns about the way new development has been occurring in recent years. The team also interviewed dozens of stakeholders involved in day-to-day use and implementation of the development code.
The consulting team will begin to draft the new code.
Local stakeholder groups will work with the consulting team in specific areas to test concepts for the new development code.
Three working groups—neighborhood association leaders, developers and business people, and design professionals—will advise the consulting team as they draft pieces of the code.
City Council, Planning Commission, and other boards will receive briefings and updates over the winter as code writing activities progress.
Public events to share progress and seek feedback will begin in the spring as parts of the new code begin to take shape.
Phase 1: analysis and diagnosis
Through Fall 2021
The first phase is focused on understanding the city's development rules and processes, assessing what is working and what is not and landing on a proposed approach for writing a new development code.
City Council received an assessment of the existing development review and permitting system in September 2021. September 13, 2021 City Council Work Session (PDF)
Council received an update on the direction of the project, the concept of the new code and how it aligns with GVL2040 in November 2021. View the presentation document: November 8, 2021 City Council Work Session (PDF). Watch the presentation: Work Session Video.
phase 2: drafting the new development code
winter 2021 to spring 2022
This phase involves drafting the new development code and using small area development plans to test key parts of the code to make sure it works for specific community requirements while aligning with the aim of GVL2040.
phase 3: revisions and adoption
summer to winter 2022
The draft development code will be shared with the community, feedback will lead to adjustments along the way and the code will be considered for adoption.
The formal adoption process will involve public hearings and official votes by the Planning Commission and the City Council in the fall of 2022 with final adoption expected by the end of 2022.
- What is a development code?
A development code regulates construction and building projects.
This may include new construction, substantial rehabilitation or renovation to existing properties, or any significant changes to any individual property. Among other things, it can regulate building height, distance between a building and its property line, property use and housing density.
A development code almost always includes a section specifically about zoning, which establishes different development rules for different parts of the community.
- Why is the city’s development code being updated?
As the community’s goals evolve over time, its development code also should change. The City of Greenville rewrote its comprehensive plan in 2019 and 2020. This new plan, GVL2040, includes ambitious goals for Greenville. Now the accompanying development code can be updated, to help bring the GVL2040 goals to fruition.
- What can (and can't) the development code do?
Development codes generally govern the use of a property and the physical characteristics of what is on that property. But there are many things about the property that cannot be regulated in the development code. For example, the development code cannot govern who owns a property or who lives in a house or apartment.
- Who is rewriting the development code, and how are they doing it?
The City has hired a team of consultants led by czbLLC, who also helped the City with GVL2040. The consultants will draft the new development code based on a variety of inputs, including the goals of GVL2040, and feedback from:
- Developers, builders, and business owners who are regulated by the code
- Neighborhood residents and representatives who live with the long-term results of development and redevelopment
- City staff who must implement the code
City Council will ultimately approve the new code, and public hearings will be held before the Council can take a vote.