City Council debate was spirited; Mayor heading to China, Japan

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, August 15, 2012

All was not calm at Greer City Council Tuesday night despite the agenda including a traffic calming report.

There was spirited discussion, gamesmanship and posturing from city council members and the administration staff during discussion of the annexation of property and a zoning classification for two parcels, 7.55 acres and 5.15 acres, with the purpose to construct 47 detached patio homes on the former plot and 22 on the latter.

At issue was connectivity suggested by the city’s Planning Commission to rezone property owned by Donald and Dennis Dillard and Kenneth A. and Marijke JC Baker, both located on Dillard Road, and establishing a DRD (Design Review District). The property is adjacent to Greystone Cottages where the patio homes would be built.

During Planning and Zoning Coordinator Glenn Pace’s presentation and discussion with council on his department’s connectivity plan providing meandering sidewalks between the properties, councilman Jay Arrowood (District 1) questioned how one neighborhood could mandate connectivity when another may not want it or opt for a gaited community.

All council members and Mayor Rick Danner weighed in with their comments, mostly discussing current ordinances and the legality of selective connectivity.

City Administrator Ed Driggers interrupted Pace when the argument began to take on a more aggressive exchange with council. When Arrowood was explaining to Pace that council was the decision making body responsible for approving zoning and planning requests, Driggers quickly interjected. “Let me just say, I hear you and I will communicate that to my staff.”

There was a smattering of laughter and Danner quickly moved the measure to a vote on first reading where it was approved 6-0 (Kimberly Bookert was absent).

The planning commission will conduct a public hearing Aug. 20 for the rezoning of both parcels.

• Mayor Rick Danner informed council he has been invited as part of a delegation with Upstate Alliance to visit Tianjin, China for the Annual Meeting of the New Champions and Japan next month. "I will be able to share my vision of the city of Greer with Greenville's sister city," Danner said. 

The Southeastern states will have an open meeting in Japan to discuss the economics of Greer and the upstate. "I will have the opportunity to thank Japan for their investment in Mitsubishi," Danner said. Gov. Nikki Haley is schedule to attend the World Economic conference.

Danner told council he will discuss the trip further when more details are provided.

Driggers' administrative report included:

• The summer storm season resulted in downed trees and power lines that necessitated the attention from fire, police and public services. CPW responded to the downed power lines. 

• A first aid kit will be presented to thank volunteer coaches in the Parks and Recreation leagues for their service. "We hope they don't have to use but it's there if they need it," Driggers said.

• A house at Century Park that was rezoned into the city is set for demolition, and the property will be cleared and topped with gravel for additional parking. Public services will perform the work, Driggers said.





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