The Citywide Housing Strategy and Transit Feasibility Study are nearing completion, with the final reports due in mid to late September. Once complete, these reports will be available on our website. In the meantime, the meeting materials from this Summer's public meeting series are available on our website, and are linked below.
The Housing Strategy contains 8 broad goals that reflect local market forces and public input about the desired future for the City's housing. These 8 goals are attainable by following 11 strategies, or action items that bring the City into day-to-day alignment with the long-term plan. The last public meeting for the Housing Strategy was held on July 31 at the Kroc Center.
The Transit Feasibility Analysis is wrapping up as well. This study has analyzed the costs and benefits of adding a new high-speed spine to the existing bus service. The public meetings for this plan focused first on the route location, bus stop locations, and finally on the look and feel of the buildings around the bus stops. This discussion will be continued in the next steps of the project, as we move to develop land use regulations and design standards for Transit-Oriented Development, Multi-Family, and Nonresidential new development.
This Summer marks approximately the middle of the Connections for Sustainability grant project. With the completion of the Citywide Housing Strategy and Transit Feasibility Analysis, the focus of the project moves to the West Side.
This next half of the project will kick-off with a park planning project for approximately 18 acres of floodplain located adjacent to AJ Whittenburg Elementary School. This land is currently home to the City's Public Works building, but could become the location for a new neighborhood park.The park planning will kick-off this Fall, and will include many opportunities for public input. What do you envision for this new park space? Collect your ideas, and stay tuned for details about this next series of public meetings!
Also this Fall, the Connections project will be taking a closer look at the design guidelines and land use regulations needed to support Transit-Oriented Economic Development. These guidelines and ordinances will be used by developers as they plan, and City Staff as they review newly proposed development projects in the City. This phase of the project will incorporate findings from the soon-to-be completed Housing Strategy and Transit Feasibility Analysis, and help ensure these plans are reflected in the built environment.
The vital industrial and commercial businesses of our history sometimes leave a mixed legacy. On one hand, these businesses once helped propel the City of Greenville into the regional center it is today. On the other hand, the vacant buildings and abandoned properties left behind may over time start to pull down the neighborhoods they once helped build. When these vacant and abandoned commercial and industrial properties are suspected to have environmental contamination, they are called "Brownfields."
Brownfield contamination could be from spilled gasoline at an old gas station, lead left behind in the soil from an old lead-painted building, or any number of other environmental impacts that are left over from the past use of a property. It's important to clean up the environmental pollution, in order to protect the health of anyone spending much time on the site, as well as for the protection of our environment. However, the unknown expense of the clean-up is enough to discourage any potential developer who might want to turn the property into something new and valuable to the community. So, often the property sits and may become an eyesore, a place for illicit activity, or simply underused space that could be something better.
The City is working to address these potential brownfield sites. With grant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency the City has been able to do the assessment and clean-up work necessary to rehabilitate these sites into the vital properties they used to be. Some sites have become home to new businesses, and the new jobs those businesses bring. Other sites have been turned into recreational facilities, such as the Salvation Army Kroc Center.
The recently published report, "The Return on Investment from Brownfields Initiatives in Greenville, SC," highlights not only some of the history of these sites, but also the way Greenville is leveraging this federal investment into positive local economic development.
Back to School
by Jaclin DuRant
It's that time of year again. As you prepare to send the kids back to school, you may be facing the challenge of affording new clothes and school supplies on a budget. Don't fret; there are some great ways to get what your student needs in an environmentally friendly and low cost way.
First, hit the second hand stores. Thrift stores and consignment shops are a great place to find gently used clothing, bags, three ring binders, and more. Shopping at and donating to these stores is a great way to keep items out of the waste stream, conserve resources, and keep money in your community. Many second hand shops are run by charitable organizations that provide jobs and other services to the community.
If you're looking for a bargain, chances are, other parents are too. A great way to get good deals is to organize a back to school swap. Invite friends with children entering a variety of grades and set it up like a multi-family yard sale.
Finally, don't forget to hit the yard sales. Check the classified section of your local newspaper or search online. Being sustainable is all about conserving resources. Buying used is a wonderful way to conserve natural resources and save your cash.
|Now on Video
Livability Educator, Jaclin DuRant can now be seen on YouTube! Check out her video about how-to make dog chew toys from recycled old t-shirts.