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Interesting find about Greenville/Greenwood

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Did you folks know that Greenville's city limits are only 16 miles squared, only 2 miles squared larger than Greenwood which is 14 miles squared? Greenville really needs to work on the city limit thing. I think Greenville's size is thrown off more than any city in the state! :blink:

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I agree, and people love to point to SC's laws on (or against?) annexation. I don't profess to understand them, but if they're so restrictive, then how come smaller cities such as Greer, Bluffton & Hardeeville seem to have no problem annexing pretty much whatever lands they want? :blink:

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Upon further research of the emporis site, I was hard pressed to find a city in SC of 20,000 or more with smaller city limit boundaries than Greenville. Aiken's city limit boundaries are the exact same size as Greenville's. Columbia and Charleston city limits are 4 or 5 times larger than Greenville's! No wonder our population data sucks. This also makes the crime rate look higher than it really is. If it is truly SC annexation laws then why do the other cities have so much bigger boundaries? This is a joke!

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I would think that commercial property annexation is easier. And from my understanding that is what Greer does a lot of. I wonder if it's so tough for Greenville because there's more residential just beyond its current borders? I don't understand the whole system at all... but i'm just speculating. If so, then I'd say Greenville's past leaders fell down on the job before growth happened in the outlying areas (just past the city limits).

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For this reason you have cities in the state that show larger than Greenville's population, but don't really come close to the size of Greenville. (Ex. Rock Hill 32 miles squared 57,902 vs Greenville only 16 miles squared with 56,291) What a joke! I didn't realize how far off the data really was until I decided to compare Greenville with other sizeable cities in the state data by data.

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Just to add more fun to the thread, Columbia is 128 square miles and Charleston is 114 square miles. How many times can 16 square miles divide into these number? 7 or 8 times is what I come up with. I wonder what our population would be with this much area?

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The 16 square miles figure is not correct. The last info. I saw last had Greenville at 26 square miles. Still pretty small though.

Greer has been so successful in annexing land (which is largely residential in zoning ) because it negotiates with developers to annex their land BEFORE it is developed. I believe Greer requires annexation in order to provide water and sewer. This way, the entire future subdivision is annexed while it is has only one owner.

Hardeeville has likewise followed the same strategy.

Annexation usually requires 75% of the affected landowner's to agree to it. It is hard to get that high of a percentage of people to agree on what day it is, much less to increase their taxes. There is also a method to annex via an election in the affected area, but that is seldom used.

Columbia is so large because it annexed Fort Jackson (88 square miles) back in the late 60's. Obviously the Ft. Jackson land is not developable, has a static population, and is not taxable. Charleston has reached it's considerable size primarily because it's mayor has been in office since 1975 and has made it a high priority and has gone to great lengths to annex whenever possible. By using revenues from the Local Option Sales Tax, property taxes in Charleston are effectively lower inside the city than outside. Since Charleston has had the LOST since 1991, it has opened up a big lead on the other cities. Until this year when Columbia enacted it, the next biggest city to have the LOST was Florence.

Because of Charleston's large amount of undeveloped, but developable land area, I fully expect it to be the largest SC city when the next census is taken in 2010.

P.S. The last figure I saw had Charleston at about 106 sq. miles, but that number changes frequently, perhaps it has reached 114 by now.

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I'm not really sure why Greenville's city leaders seem so lax about annexation. I believe one reason why Rock Hill has been relatively successful in this regard is because it annexes land BEFORE it become developed. Columbia recently annexed about 200 acres along Garner's Ferry Road which contains about 2500-3000 residents, with projects planned that could become home to another 1500 residents. Also, it seems as though Columbia's downtown residential projects are more expansive than Greenville's, which will increase the city's population within the next few years. And Joe Riley in Charleston has been annexing like crazy, most recently a couple of parcels on James Island before a possible reincorporation. But for Greenville, 26 sq mi IS a pretty small space for a city that sits at the center of a 1.1 million inhabitant metro area. There are a couple of threads on the SC forum that deal with our restrictive annexation laws.

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I'm not really sure why Greenville's city leaders seem so lax about annexation. I believe one reason why Rock Hill has been relatively successful in this regard is because it annexes land BEFORE it become developed. Columbia recently annexed about 200 acres along Garner's Ferry Road which contains about 2500-3000 residents, with projects planned that could become home to another 1500 residents. Also, it seems as though Columbia's downtown residential projects are more expansive than Greenville's, which will increase the city's population within the next few years. And Joe Riley in Charleston has been annexing like crazy, most recently a couple of parcels on James Island before a possible reincorporation. But for Greenville, 26 sq mi IS a pretty small space for a city that sits at the center of a 1.1 million inhabitant metro area. There are a couple of threads on the SC forum that deal with our restrictive annexation laws.

The thing is though, despite the talk of annexation laws Greenville has suffered several times more than other cities in the state because of this. Is there any other city in the state whose population is as off as Greenville's for an area of its size? I can't think of one.

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According to emporis Spartanburg has 19 square miles, which still makes it worse on Greenville. Greenville's urban areas shoot far past the city limit lines. Most of Woodruff Rd., probably the busiest shopping area around here is not even in the city limits.

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I would agree that Greenville has been the city most happered by the state's annexation laws. Spartanburg has too, but proportionally I would say Greenville is the most affected.

Here is an article about Myrtle Beach's annexation activity. They are expecting to add considerably to there 22 sq. miles in 2006.

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/myrtl...ne/13481184.htm

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Greenville has emphasised redevelopement of the areas inside it's current limits rather than annexation. What annexations that have been made are commercial areas. These include ICAR, Millenium campus, Woodruff Road, and Congaree Road.

It often does not pay to annex residential areas because the costs of sevices exceed the revenues received.

There was rumor that Gville might try to annex the residential areas around Wade Hampton Blvd and Pleasantburg, but that was awhile ago.

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There was also a recent mention in the Greenville Journal that the City of Greenville is looking into annexation of the portion of Poinsett Highway between Pete Hollis Highway and Cherrydale that isn't currently within city limits.

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I guess what Greenville has to do is find a way to balance commercial annexation with residential annexation. You want the city to operate efficiently from a financial perspective, but you also want to have PEOPLE.

Are Greenville's City Council minutes available online? In Columbia's last City Council meeting, altogether it was proposed that well over 100 acres of property be annexed into the city. I'm not sure whether those properties are commercial or residential in nature, but it shows that the city seems to be getting a bit more aggressive in this regard. I'd really hate to see Columbia and Charleston start reaching upwards of 150,000 in population and Greenville still stuck in the 50,000-60,000 range.

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It seems like the only way Greenville's city population will grow significantly is if the city and county merge into one entity. I really hope this will happen, sooner rather than later, but I'm not holding my breath. If this happened next week, the city of Greenville would claim a population of 400,000+ rather than the paltry and misleading 56,000 we now claim. This would also make for a more efficient government.

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Upon further research of the emporis site, I was hard pressed to find a city in SC of 20,000 or more with smaller city limit boundaries than Greenville. Aiken's city limit boundaries are the exact same size as Greenville's. Columbia and Charleston city limits are 4 or 5 times larger than Greenville's! No wonder our population data sucks. This also makes the crime rate look higher than it really is. If it is truly SC annexation laws then why do the other cities have so much bigger boundaries? This is a joke!

Columbia's real size is more like 41 square miles. 84 square miles of Columbia is the mostly uninhabitable Fort Jackson, which adds little to the total population.

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No, Columbia's real size is 125 square miles. I understand that Fort Jackson is uninhabitable, but it's still in the city limit so therefore it "counts." That's like people in Greenville saying that Hollingsworth's property should've been excluded all these years because he sat on it, or some areas of Charleston shouldn't count because it's marshland. Give me a break!

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As far as Columbia's habitable land, it really is that 41 or so square miles. Ft. Jackson is a federal government entity, and in that regard it is different than Hollingsworth's land in Greenville (private property, taxable, and totally developable) and even Charleston's marshland since it doesn't constitute ~66% of the city; in this regard, Charleston's marshes isn't a notable exception since just about every sizable city has some geographically uninhabitable portions (rivers, lakes, etc.). Ft. Jackson isn't subject to potential commercial development, nor does it constitute part of the city's tax base. Of course, technically Columbia is 125 square miles, but practically, in a municipal sense, it's only about 40 or so square miles.

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Krazee makes excellent points. If Greenville wants to take it to that level then all of the land in Columbia that is owned by the state shouldn't be counted. Fort Jackson is a unique situation.

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Yeah, but until a private land owner chooses to develop something, it is just as uninhabitable as a military base. I used Hollingsworth's land as an example because it is a rather big parcel of land in a prime area of the city. I do realize that it isn't government land.

My point is that every city can make excuses, and I get tired of Fort Jackson being an excuse for Columbia.

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Yeah, but until a private land owner chooses to develop something, it is just as uninhabitable as a military base. I used Hollingsworth's land as an example because it is a rather big parcel of land in a prime area of the city. I do realize that it isn't government land.

My point is that every city can make excuses, and I get tired of Fort Jackson being an excuse for Columbia.

So be it. I get tired of Greenville's excuses too.

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Just out of curiosity: Why does Columbia want Fort Jackson in the city if it's undevelopable and not taxable? Is there some sort of benefit?

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Yeah, but until a private land owner chooses to develop something, it is just as uninhabitable as a military base. I used Hollingsworth's land as an example because it is a rather big parcel of land in a prime area of the city. I do realize that it isn't government land.

My point is that every city can make excuses, and I get tired of Fort Jackson being an excuse for Columbia.

But I think that the point is that a private land owner actually has the OPTION of developing something on that property that will add to the city's tax base. Also, Ft. Jackson comprises roughly 2/3's of the city of Columbia. Not being familiar with the specifics of Hollingsworth's land, is it at or about 9 sq miles? As I mentioned in my last post, just about every sizable city will have certain portions that are geographically uninhabitable, but the city nor any private developer has any choice over what goes on on Ft. Jackson's land, which belongs to the federal government. It is totally outside of the domain of the city. The only way you could even speak of "potentials" with that land is if the base closed, and BRAC made the decision to keep it open. With Hollingsworth's land, the city could choose to buy it, another private developer could buy it, Hollingsworth could donate it, or he could choose to develop it. The land that Ft. Jackson sits on has none of those options available to it.

By the way, in what way does Columbia use Ft. Jackson as an "excuse"? In reality, the only thing that Ft. Jackson skews is population density figures (and by extension, housing permit rates compared to other cities). In these situations, I think it is perfectly valid to point out the presence of a sizable military base in the city which takes up 2/3's of the property within the city; I don't see why it wouldn't be.

As to the benefits of the fort being located within the city, I'm not totally sure about that. I know that military bases provide civilians with jobs, and being that Ft. Jackson is the largest initial entry training facility in the U.S. military, that may have something to do with it.

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