GREENVILLE — The Greenville Planning Commission approved a special use permit to a downtown business owner for two upstairs apartments.
The commission voted 8-0, with Jack Corner absent, to award the special use to applicant Carol Sorensen.
The permit will allow the owners of the building, which falls in the C3, Central Business District, to rent two upstairs living units. The first floor of the building, which is located at 117 W. Cass St., is occupied by Forever Fabrics Quilt Shop.
“It’s nice to see that people can live downtown and walk downtown,” said Mike Gustin, vice chairman of the planning commission.
“It’s always good to see some investment in that so we can have a walking community as well with people living downtown.”
The Greenville City Council in January unanimously adopted a rezoning plan, which will set up part of the city — essentially a one-block area surrounding the downtown — for upstairs apartments above retail stores, while also placing design standards for new commercial buildings. That area was previously zoned C-1, or neighborhood commercial and will now fall under a mixed use development (MUD).
The rezoning from C-1 to MUD will allow for several different uses in the area while maintaining the “neighborhood look” by opening up options for retail and commercial as well as residential.
“On the first floor they could have commercial or retail and have upstairs housing,” Tim Johnson, a planning consultant for the city, previously said.
Thursday’s approval of the special use permit on Cass Street is another step in the direction of more residences downtown.
“I think we just created a whole zone to do something similar to this adjacent to the core district,” Commissioner Dale Reyburn said.
“I think this falls kind of in line with what we have planned and what we’re aiming for.”
Commission Chair David Ralph agreed.
“Between the DDA and things related to master plans and city ordinances, this is one of the things we’ve been moving toward, trying to encourage more residents in the downtown area,” he said.