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Building and Development Standards

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As the department that develops and implements projects related to growth and development – including monitoring planning and permitting for residential and commercial projects – Building and Development Standards is a reliable gauge of the economic climate in the City of Greer.

Following three years of declining or stagnant construction, 2011 provided a ray of light for city officials.

“To see a double-digit percentage increase in housing starts and construction costs is a very welcome sign,” said Phil Rhoads, director of building and development standards. “The consistency of these projects may be an indication that confidence in the economy is returning.”

inspectorThe department, located on the first floor of Greer City Hall, serves a variety of functions for the City of Greer including planning, zoning, building and codes, nuisance abatement, geographic information system, engineering, and stormwater.

The increase in residential and commercial projects keeps the city’s two building inspectors, Tommy Freeman and Doug Bouvia, busy. The city conducted 5,401 total inspections in 2011, a 28.5% increase over 2010.

Freeman shares his expertise statewide, serving as a board member for the South Carolina Plumbing, Gas, and Mechanical Inspectors.

Al Kassin, the city’s nuisance abatement officer is responsible for code enforcement inspections on public, commercial, and private property. He inspects property for nuisances to include tall grass, trash, debris, unsanitary, unhealthy and unsafe conditions.

Education helped lead to a 4.2% decline in nuisance abatement cases in 2011. A list of frequently asked code enforcement questions is maintained at www.cityofgreer.org.

Under the direction of Glenn Pace, the Planning and Zoning division of the Building and Development Standards Department conveys the community’s progressive vision, promotes quality of life, and manages the city’s growth by incorporating comprehensive planning with sound economic development practices.

The division provides services regarding land development, long-range planning, and historic preservation. It reviews and processes applications for site development plans, conditional use permits, plats, and rezonings, among other development requests.

It also prepares and presents development proposals to the Planning Commission, Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals, the Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Board of Architectural Review.

The division is responsible for GIS activities conducted by GIS planner Justin Kirtz. Key projects completed in 2011 were updating both the official city boundary map and the official zoning map, participating in the city’s redistricting process.

State and regional associations seek the expertise of the division’s professionals. Pace serves on the board of directors for the S.C. Association of Hazard Mitigation, while Kirtz is secretary for the Greenville County Geographic Information Alliance.

Building and Development Standards
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City engineer Don Holloman oversees all activities of the Engineering and Stormwater divisions. He is tasked with coordinating city construction projects; reviewing site development plans for residential and commercial projects; inspecting street construction in new subdivisions; and advising the stormwater program staff in the development and application of the city’s Stormwater Management Program.

Holloman also developed the Roadway Assessment Program that annually grades city streets to keep the most highly-distressed roads repaired and well maintained.

Stormwater engineer Lillian Hanley and stormwater inspector Dan Cain work with other city departments and government agencies to protect our waterways from stormwater pollutants that may be generated by construction sites, industrial emissions, or other means. Staff members also respond to citizen concerns about drainage.

Because all runoff cannot be captured and treated like sewage, the best way to ensure cleaner water is to prevent runoff from ever becoming polluted. The city relies on strong stormwater ordinances and a diligent staff to accomplish this goal. By educating the public, managing construction sites, and inspecting industrial facilities, the city’s stormwater team is working to protect the quality of our water for generations to come.

The city partnered with Upstate Forever and the City of Spartanburg to present the Water Quality Speaker Series that drew 60 attendees to learn more about construction impact on stormwater.

In addition to utilizing the city website and PEG channel to offer public education, staff stayed active in the community in 2011 at such events as the Friends of Lake Robinson Day of Celebration in October.

Hanley served as president of the S.C. Association of Stormwater Managers in 2011.

“Our department’s work takes place in the background for many residents, but we have a dedicated and skilled staff that is committed to protecting and providing for the health, safety, and welfare of all City of Greer residents and visitors. It’s a task we take seriously,” Rhoads said.


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