At a Greenville Planning Board hearing on Wednesday evening, the council answered questions about what the proposed zoning changes could mean for current property owners and possible future growth in the area.
The Planning Board has proposed two potential changes to the amendments set to go to voters in March, including one that would eliminate a rule exempting properties in the downtown district from minimum lot sizes. Existing properties would be grandfathered and could continue their current uses.
Chairman Mike Sadowski said the proposed change was intended to control downtown density, noting that under the current ordinance, a multi-family development could be put on a very small lot.
“If I buy a one-acre lot right now, I might throw a couple apartment buildings,” Sadowski said.
When asked how this would affect existing downtown lots, many of which are less than an acre, council members said existing non-conforming lots were grandfathered and protected by pre-existing rules on the city’s non-compliant lots.
“It shouldn’t affect anyone in their current situation,” said board member Miles Horsley.
Under current Greenville ordinance, any existing registration lot that has less area or road frontage than is required in the District may still be developed for any permitted use in the District. Downtown, this includes single-family, two-family and multi-family dwellings, including condos, as long as dwellings are above the ground floor in multi-story dwellings, commercial or professional offices, banks, restaurants, grocery stores, churches, inns, theaters, clubs, health care or recreational facilities or day care centers.
However, under the regulations, the lot must meet other district requirements, including setbacks and regulations for drinking water supply and sewage disposal, but owners would have the option of applying for a derogation if there was a rule that the owner could not respect. due to the size of the land.
The other amendment proposes to eliminate the exemption for off-street parking for any future developed property, but preserves the exemption for existing buildings.
The Amendments propose to add definitions for “conversion”, “aisle”, “frontage” and “open space”.
The Board made no changes to the Proposed Amendments following the public hearing. Any substantive changes to the Proposed Amendments will, by law, require a second public hearing.
Once finalized by the Planning Board, the proposed zoning changes will go to the ballot for public vote in March. All zoning changes require a majority vote to pass.
Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or [email protected] She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.