Monday, August 25, 2014

City of Greenville Infill Ordinance Receives Final Approval

Greenville City Council gave final approval to the much discussed Residential Infill Ordinance.  The ordinance is effective August 11, 2014.

The Infill Ordinance ordains the following:
  • Garages, carports, and driveways: must be constructed to be in character with the surrounding street and neighborhood.  New subdivisions may establish their own character, but the character of existing developments is being protected.  Generally, garages that protrude in front of the house on a street that does not have "snout" garages will not be allowed.  In addition, parking areas and circular driveways in front of homes will not be allowed unless there is a compelling reason to do so, like the house is on a busy street for example, or neighboring houses have parking in the front yard.
  • Stormwater: impervious surfaces on a single-family lot will be limited to 60 percent of the lot.  The portion of the lot covered by buildings was already limited to 40 percent of the lot.  The new ordinance limits additional impervious surfaces to another 20 percent, for a total of 60 percent.  The 60 percent threshold can be exceed, but the project will require stormwater mitigation specific to the individual lot.  Additional requirements also are imposed for "infill" subdivisions including a setback standard and character requirements for detention ponds.
  • Tree protection and replacement: The requirement for a tree survey for single-family residential development has been deleted. Instead, inclusive of all required trees (street trees), one canopy tree will be required for each 3,000 square fee of lot area, or portion thereof, excluding the footprint of the building.  Credit will be given, two-for-one, for each existing canopy tree saved if it is 6 inches or larger.  Planted trees must be a minimum of 2-1/2 inch caliper and maybe planted anywhere on the lot except where otherwise required (street trees).
  • The maximum height of a dwelling in R6 and R9 has been reduced to 35 feet measured to the centerline of the roof.  The maximum height remains 40 feet in all other districts.
 The objective of this ordinance is to preserve the character of existing neighborhoods, many of which are redeveloping, while not impacting the economic viability of infill activities.  "While the ordinance may limit consumer choice, it should succeed in insuring that infill activity remains an economically viable option for home buyers and home builders," Michael Dey, Executive Vice President of the Home Builders Association of Greenville, said.

Representing housing-related interests on the 17-member task force were:
  • Thomas Croft, Architect
  • John Edwards, Architect
  • David Crigler, Realtor and HBA member
  • Amanda Jones, Realtor and HBA member
  • Michael Dey, HBA of Greenville
  • Bruce Felton, Home Builder and HBA member
  • Matt Ruth, Remodeler and HBA member
  • Trey Cole, Remodeler and HBA member
The task force also included five representatives from neighborhood associations, three members of City Council, and a member of the Planning Commission.

To read the Residential Infill Development Ordinance, visit

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