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Spartan

Traditional Neighborhood Development!

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Spartanburg County may have a brighter future than I thought when it comes to combating sprawl. The County has approved a second reading of an amendment to the Unified Land Management Ordinance (ULMO) that will allow "neo-traditional" or "Traditional Neighborhood Development" (TND) subdivisions to occur. What's even more fascinating to me is that developers seem to be ok with it. You have your typical complaints about "added expenses" associated with sidewalks and curb & gutter, but overall it sounds like this will go through on the final reading.

What does this mean for Spartanburg? As I understand it, our current subdivision regulations along with the UMLO have made building great neighborhoods like Converse Heights and Hampton Heights impossible. So with the Traditional Neighborhood Guidelines developers would once again be able to create these great places, and from the sound of the article, developers like the concept (which is good because they are already doing it in every other large city in SC, NC and GA).

These guidelines will include rules on the following:

  • Alleys

  • Streetlights

  • Landscaping

  • Sidewalks

  • Usable open, outdoor spaces (aka: parks)

  • Narrow, one-way streets (slows traffic and encourages pedestrian activity)

  • Mixed land uses

Basically all of this is trying to allow mixed use development without zoning. Zoning would make it much easier, but this is a fantastic start from the sound of it.

Herald-Journal Article

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There is an article in the Charlotte Observer today that highlights why TND and quality control is so very important. There is a phenomenon in the northern part of Charlotte where over the past 10 years or so are experiencing rapid decay. Foreclosures and vacancy rates are rising quickly in that part of town, crime is rising, and people are leaving. Its part of a national trend, but its very telling that these homes were built supposedly in a way that people wanted. But what we're seeing is that on top of the normal unsustainability, its proving to be a planning nightmare. What do you do with large subdivisions that are mostly abandoned? Hmm...

Keep in mind that its just one part of Charlotte, not the whole city, but its a lesson that can be applied at home.

What's really scary is that those same types of homes are being built in Spartanburg County too. Especially towards Roebuck. Its very possible that we could see the same thing happen in Spartanburg if we don't change our ways soon.

Here's the link to the article in the Charlotte Observer. Its a good read, and you don't need to know the neighborhoods to understand it.

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I found the actual amendment that they are considering online. Its kind of long, but its worth a skim if you're interested. The minimum amount of land to quality for the Planned Development Regulations is 25 acres. This would make a great PUD ordinance if we had zoning in Spartanburg County.

Proposed Planned Development Regulations[PDF]

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What's even more fascinating to me is that developers seem to be ok with it. You have your typical complaints about "added expenses" associated with sidewalks and curb & gutter, but overall it sounds like this will go through on the final reading.

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Has anyone heard anything else about a TND development in Spartanburg? I would love to live in this kind of neighborhood, but right now, Greenville is the closest option. And although I love Greenville, I don't want to drive that far each day to work in Spartanburg.

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I think at least one TND is planned for Boiling Springs and the new Carrington near Converse Heights will be a TND. I'm pretty sure others are planned, but probobly not on the fast track due to the slowdown in housing.

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Carrington is the only "new" TND one I know of. There are plenty of original ones to pick from though :)

What is this one in Boiling Springs?

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Carrington is the only "new" TND one I know of. There are plenty of original ones to pick from though :)

What is this one in Boiling Springs?

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I'm keeping my eyes open for something good in the original ones as well - it's just hit-or-miss sometimes.

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Thats the mixed use commercial development though isn't it?

There is also the one over in Cherokee Springs, which I also forget the name of. Its been rumored for a long time, so it may be dead given the general state of the national housing market.

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I live in Timm Creek at Montgomery Lake, across from Dorman High which at one point was purported to be like Easton Marketplace a $100M commerical/ residential development. Mac Erwin, has done a very poor job of developing it to its full potential but the future looks bright. The new BoJangles is coming in a 1/2 mile down the road so it may spur new growth in an area that is ready and its been great since Foodlion opened 18months ago. There is great access to the West side and now that 290 is improved you can shoot over to Greenville in no time.

Timm Creek at Montgomery lake has been slow to grow even though its almost one-of-a-kind in Spartanburg w/ a pool, sidewalks, lake w/ walking trail, pavillion and green spaces in the low $200k's to low $300k's.

Thats the mixed use commercial development though isn't it?

There is also the one over in Cherokee Springs, which I also forget the name of. Its been rumored for a long time, so it may be dead given the general state of the national housing market.

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