Greenville, NC
Comprehensive Plan Update

Greenville, North Carolina is the cultural, economic, and educational hub of the state’s eastern coastal plains region. For years, the city and surroundings have maintained strong growth despite a sluggish state and national economy. To continue to proactively guide growth, the city has hired Planning NEXT as part of the Clarion team to undertake a major update to its comprehensive plan. Planning NEXT developed the land use and character element and area plans for three strategic locations.


Land Use Vision Workshop

The public process for the land use vision centered around a multi-day workshop that included two parts. Part One was designed confirm the values of the community that will define the city’s future development patterns, and engage in interactive group exercises to define the plan for Greenville’s growth and objectives for the evolution of several key areas of the city. Part Two allowed participants to review the development concepts created from Part One input and provided opportunities to refine the objectives for growth.

A Character-based Approach

Planning NEXT developed the plan’s future land use element using a character-based approach that will provide better clarity about the community’s intent for how development should look and function in different parts of the city.

Maintain, Evolve, Transform

The new land use element was a significant departure from the city’s previous plans. To illustrate the similarities and differences between the new plan and the prior plan, Planning NEXT presented the land use concept in a series of maps entitled “maintain,” “evolve,” and “transform.” The maintain map showed where change is not intended. The evolve areas identify where the existing use and character is not intended to change, but incremental improvements would be encouraged. Finally, transform identified places where new forms of development were encouraged.

Special Area Plans

In addition to the citywide land use plan, Planning NEXT developed four small area plans that address a range of urban design and land use conditions. These special area plans included a gateway corridor and the city’s Medical District, which were each larger than 1,500 acres. Another much smaller area, an underutilized commercial corridor between the Medical District and Uptown, was selected to demonstrate the potential for mixed-use redevelopment — a concept that could be applied in other areas.

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Project Type: land use component of a comprehensive plan
Community Type: mid-size city
Client: Greenville, North Carolina
Services: public engagement, visioning, land use planning, area planning