Greenville Planning Commission eyes riverfront development

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 9:49 am on Monday, December 12, 2011

This image represents a concept the Master Plan committee developed for connecting people to downtown Greenville. This was made from taking input the committee has received for what people think would make Greenville a better place. Courtesy photo

GREENVILLE — Greenville planners presented some new ideas for the development of riverfront property that would connect people to the downtown.
A Riverfront Downtown Connector idea was presented to the Planning Commission through the Greenville Master Plan on Thursday night.
The image in the draft is of the area west of Lafayette Street and North of Montcalm Street.
The concept shows one way the city could connect people with downtown and utilize ways to use riverfront property in the city, but it is just a concept, Assistant City Manager Cameron Van Wyngarden said.
The Riverfront Downtown Connector shows items such as a multi-use riverfront plaza, new shops, expanded outdoor museum exhibits and much more.
“(The connector is) dreaming of what could be,” Van Wyngarden said.
He added current property owners would have to agree to something like this and no one has money invested into it at this point. It is just one of the ideas the committee and community came up with when thinking of ways to improve Greenville.
“It’s a conversation starter,” said Tim Johnson, MainStreet Planning Comany. “It’s a way to get people talking (about how they want to see Greenville change).”
Although the idea was picked to go into the Master Plan, there is a chance before the Master Plan is approved that it could be taken out.
“It is just a concept of what could happen,” Van Wyngarden said.
The Planning Commission was given the plan to go over and review until the next meeting on Jan. 12.
Van Wyngarden said the Planning Commission has seen bits and pieces of the plan in past meetings, but this is the first time they are receiving it as a whole.

Members of the Greenville Planning Commission watch as Tim Johnson, of MainStreet Planning Company, presented them with a layout of Greenville and its zoning districts. Daily News/Kelli Ameling

“This is just a draft,” Van Wyngarden said.
Compared to the 2005 edition of the master plan, Van Wyngarden said a lot of background data was brought up-to-date.
The 2005 edition, he said, was just amended from the previous edition, meaning the new Master Plan needed to be brought up-to-date for the past 10 years.
A lot of research from the Master Plan Committee, community input, public surveys and more much more went into the plan to help make Greenville a better place.
“There were a lot of small tweaks,” he said.
The biggest change, Van Wyngarden said, is adding the mixed use zoning.
The mixed use zoning applies to the area around the city, and would make it available for both residential and commercial use.
“It would help transition from commercial to residential,” Van Wyngarden said.
People living in that area could be living there residentially, owning a business or doing both.
Other changes include future land use, land use planning future goals for Greenville and more.
After the planning commission reviews the plan, it will be presented to the Greenville City Council and then to the community to receive additional input, Van Wyngarden said.

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