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City Council votes claim Greer Baptist Association property as an office

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, September 25, 2013

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Randy Bradley spoke in favor of the Greer Baptist Association property to be rezoned OD (office district).

Jim Fair

Randy Bradley spoke in favor of the Greer Baptist Association property to be rezoned OD (office district).



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Erin Williams, a homeowner with her husband, Perry, across the street from the Greer Baptist Association property, told council they invested in their home to keep the city's historical presence strong along Poinsett Street near the central business district.

Jim Fair

Erin Williams, a homeowner with her husband, Perry, across the street from the Greer Baptist Association property, told council they invested in their home to keep the city's historical presence strong along Poinsett Street near the central business district.



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Mayor Rick Danner, left, and council members Lee Dumas, center, and Wryley Bettis, listen to citizens speak on the rezoning request for property at 309 W. Poinsett Street.

Mayor Rick Danner, left, and council members Lee Dumas, center, and Wryley Bettis, listen to citizens speak on the rezoning request for property at 309 W. Poinsett Street.



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Tuesday's council meeting drew more citizens speaking at the public forum.

Jim Fair

Tuesday's council meeting drew more citizens speaking at the public forum.



City government’s alphabet soup of zoning ordinances was stirred up as Greer Baptist Association’s property at 309 W. Poinsett Street sought a change from residential to commercial status. Nearby residential owners, meanwhile, try to digest exactly how the request will end on Oct. 8.

City Council voted, 4-2, on first reading Tuesday, for the residential property (RM-1) to be rezoned OD (office district). The OD recommendation moves forward for the second and final reading in two weeks. The designation differs little from C-2.

Randy Bradley, Missions Director of Three Rivers Baptist, the organization that includes Greer Baptist Association, claims it has housed a business (book store) and requested the commercial rezoning to reflect that. The back of the property, 9,000 square-feet, is being discussed to be zoned separately as residential. The planning commissioners were told on Sept. 16 a Christian bookstore was planned but Bradley told council Tuesday that project did not materialize.

Residents bordering the property and neighbors argue rezoning conflicts with their efforts to maintain a historical residential presence near downtown. Those same property owners purchased their residences with the Greer Baptist Association already in place conducting business.

The timetable reflects that:

• Sept. 16, Glenn Pace, City and Planning Coordinator, recommended the Planning Commission approve the property to be rezoned C-2 (commercial).

• Sept. 16, the Planning Commission later voted against Pace’s recommendation and unanimously (5-0) denied the request, thus maintaining the property as RM-1 (residential).

• Tuesday, City Council voted 4-2, for the property to be zoned OD (office district). Voting in favor were council members Jay Arrowood, Lee Dumas, Wryley Bettis and Mayor Rick Danner. Wayne Griffin and Judy Albert voted against. Kimberly Bookert was absent.

Five people spoke at the public forum for or against the rezoning. Perry and Erin Williams and Freida Hall spoke against rezoning and Keith Kelly and Bradley spoke for the commercial designation.

Griffin spoke eloquently of listening to nearby property owners who have moved into and invested in the neighborhood. “I think it’s important for the city to listen to the people,” Griffin said. “People are your most important resource. (Others) will watch council and see how people are treated.”

Arrowood reminded council, “We have identified Poinsett as a transitional area. We do have a lot of permitted uses. I can’t see that new owners would have any more impact there.”

Council approved 6-0:

• 25-foot portion of property annexed and zoned I-1 (industrial).

• Main Street Car Wash on 2.89 acres on S. Buncombe Road and Commerce Drive to C-3 (commercial).

• Prohibited trucks with three axels or more on Highway 290 steering all traffic to the Inland Port via Hwy. 80 / J. Verne Smith Parkway.

• Resolution to renew 10-year fire agreement with Greenville Count Fire Service covering first responder medical services in the contract area outside the city limits which includes coverage for Mitsubishi Polyester Film Corp., and additional industrial, commercial and residential occupancies in the contract area.

• QT convenience store and service station to be built on S. Hwy. 14 and Concourse Road. Work scheduled to begin in December and opening July 2014.

• First reading for Buddhist Temple on 6.2 acres of property owned by Vien Quang monastery located at 1107 Poplar Drive Ext.

• Ordinance to change zoning classification of property owned by James Campbell located at 395 Old Woodruff Road from C-2 (commercial) to R-12 (residential-single family.

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