Spartanburg City Council gave their unanimous approval to a new citywide Comprehensive Plan at their meeting on Monday, capping off a process to create the plan which began in 2019. Mandated by the state every 10 years, the plan will serve as a guide for future development and conservation efforts. Coming at a time of unprecedented growth in the city, the plan's central focus on equity will help ensure the benefits of Spartanburg's rise are shared by all its residents, according to City Staff. The plan's guiding principles to achieve the more equitable future it envisions are: "character and authenticity," "enhanced connections," "dignity and belonging," and "improved health and wellness."
The new Comprehensive Plan includes more than 350 recommendations, covering every corner of the city and stretching 25 years into the future, as well as an implementation matrix to guide prioritization. Responding to requests from City Council for actionable items within the plan to focus on in the near term, staff created a list of 10 suggestions, which were approved along with the the plan. Those include:
- Update the Zoning Ordinance and Land Use Regulations to support the development of mixed-income neighborhoods, housing diversity and density, and mixed-use development
- Support, promote and invest in initiatives to advance economic mobility
- Encourage and support mixed-use development that responds to the needs of residents, workers, students and visitors
- Start the process of becoming a nationally accredited parks and recreation agency
- Ensure downtown is welcoming and inclusive for all residents through efforts like; historic interpretation of the city’s history, community amenities and programming, and intentional efforts to support business owners from under-represented populations
- Develop sustainability and resilience plans focusing on public safety, equity, mitigating natural hazards, and economic development
- Be a leader amongst local government agencies in racial equity efforts
- Develop, expand and improve existing agencies, programs, and funding for housing, homeownership, shelter and other efforts for all segments of the unhoused population
- Improve the city’s transportation infrastructure
- Research and utilize smart technologies to improve city services and keep city systems secure
At the direction of Council, staff will create a timeline for those recommendations, along with budget estimates for each. The plan will be up for second reading and final approval at the next City Council meeting on August 28. Once final approval is granted, planning staff will begin the work of crafting an updated city zoning ordinance to reflect the Comprehensive Plan's recommendations.
To download a draft of the updated Comprehensive Plan, follow this link.
View full video from the August 14 City Council meeting by visiting our meeting portal here.