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Residents enhance ideas for next Community Master Plan

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Sunday, June 15, 2014

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Participants wrote suggestions and posted them on a map of Greer.
 
 

Jim Fair

Participants wrote suggestions and posted them on a map of Greer.

 

 



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Greer City Councilman Wayne Griffin, center, and members of nearby communities discuss the priorities facing Greer in the next generation.

Jim Fair

Greer City Councilman Wayne Griffin, center, and members of nearby communities discuss the priorities facing Greer in the next generation.



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More downtown restaurants opening on Monday and improving the gateways into the city were two ideas how to improve upon Greer's strengths.
 

More downtown restaurants opening on Monday and improving the gateways into the city were two ideas how to improve upon Greer's strengths.

 



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David Langley is drawing a trail that would enhance the quality of life for Greer residents.
 
 

Jim Fair

David Langley is drawing a trail that would enhance the quality of life for Greer residents.

 

 



Greer went back to the future at the Cannon Centre last Thursday evening. A workshop was held for residents of Greer to give their suggestions that will lead to a Community Master Plan projecting into 2030.

Fifteen years and two master plans ago resulted in the state-of-the-art city hall and city park, police and municipal courts complex and the multi-purpose Cannon Centre that houses the community’s cultural arts.

“Using this facility for what we envisioned says if you dream it and plan for it, then it can be done,” said Ed Driggers, City Administrator, and a core member of the Partnership For Tomorrow – a virtual think tank of individuals who developed the previous two Greer community master plans.

It was the community’s turn to give its vision of Greer regarding economic development, transportation and mobility, culture/art/historic resources, parks and open space and Greer Station.

Kim Horton of design consulting firm Kimley-Horn in Charlotte was among the presenters. “I grew up in Lyman where Greer was thought a little place between Spartanburg and Greenville. You’re not that anymore, you’ve worked very hard,” she said.

The central business district (downtown) drew overwhelming attention from residents attending with empty storefronts and vacant buildings matching the suggested need of branding, packaging and marketing the “Greer experience” to compete favorably with tourism money for the “Greenville Experience”.

It didn’t go unnoticed with one participant commenting there were more than 15 empty storefronts downtown.

Interestingly, a significant group of people concurred that developing a signage gateway plan for downtown was a high priority. Driggers and city council have discussed wayfinding signage.

“Travelers Rest is an excellent example of wayfinding,” said Driggers. Travelers Rest has attractive signage directing people to historic, city entities, businesses and its city market. The town also promotes the beginning of the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

Greer’s population growth, 8,300 new residents since 2000, representing a 43.4 percent growth spurt to more than 50,000. That reflected a significant number of participants showing concern about transportation and mobility needs in the coming years.

There was equal support for creating policies integrating transportation and land use planning, constructing trails and on street facilities to connect homes with downtown and employment centers, fill gaps in the bicycle and pedestrian network, reimaging rail corridors through downtown and improve multimodal connections between Greer and neighboring cities.

Parking was not offered as a guiding principal.

Kimley-Horn will collate the information, present it to PFT later this year and Greer residents will be invited to see the community master plan in January 2015 before its public rollout in April next year.

 

 

 

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