GREENVILLE - The Greenville City Council voted down Tuesday a zoning map change after hearing residents’ side of the story.
The city held an official Public Hearing on a Planning and Zoning recommendation at the Marcos Pizza area property at Memorial and East Main streets. The property owners wanted to split the parcel and open a sign painting business there.
The council’s super-majority vote required resulted in not approving the rezone to a General Business and keep the buffer Neighborhood Business zone in place by the planning and Zoning Commission.
Resident Nancy Meyers represented her family who owns property and structures that they built in the area in 1995 near where the drive-through was approved years ago.
“We certainly do not object to the economic development in placing businesses in that area, particularly in the old drive-thru,” she said.
She recalled that when the area was rezoned in 1999, realtors, businesses, residents, city representatives and planners recommended the Neighborhood Business zone that was approved. If the area was to be rezoned to general business, the building could be brokered to businesses with a more traffic flow, and problems with storm drainage and to the public health and welfare of residents in the area.
“We are not against the economic development in that area, we just ask that you maintain Neighborhood Business zoning for that area,” she said.
Two other residents spoke saying that they live in the area, support new business, but are concerned with traffic flow like backing out of lots, delivery trucks and people walking, so they do not support the rezone.
Citizens obtained 27 signatures on a petition, emailed council, and businesses in the area about their needing a buffer as a neighborhood from the impact of the businesses’ traffic flow.
Councilman Todd Oliver told attendees at the meeting that he appreciates their input because no entity can work in a vacuum on these things.
Third Ward Councilman Leon Rogers agreed and added that he listens to the constituents on problems and to let him know of them.
Second Ward Councilman Roy Harrison also agreed and appreciated the emails, hopes the property owner of Marcos Pizza find a business to go in the building next to it. He also apologized for the voting confusion when the ordinance to amend the city zoning map was presented.
Harrison had voted “yes” to approve the ordinance. Officials retracted the vote after learning from Mayor Michael Bowers that the ordinance required a super-majority vote. A super majority requires all voting members present to override a recommendation by the Planning and Zoning Board, officials said.
“What that comes to is it can’t a simple majority, it has to be a super-majority,” said Bowers. “I believe it is a two-thirds vote, so it has got to be all them present.”
Councilman Tracy Tyron agreed to the apology, too, saying that he was nominated as mayor pro-temp for this meeting, because of the absence of board President John Burkett and President Pro-temp John Baumgardner. He further said that it took a lot to ensure the legislative requirements of the vote.