City Council hears first overview of upcoming Comprehensive Plan process
Two-year process will create blueprint for future growth, set City priorities
Spartanburg City Council heard an overview at their meeting on Monday laying out some of what they and city residents can expect as we embark on an upcoming Comprehensive Planning process. Replacing the City's current Comprehensive Plan, which was crafted in 1999, the new plan is expected to govern the CIty's path for the next 20 years. The presentation from Dr. Barry Nocks, Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and Professor Emeritus of the Clemson University Master of City and Regional Planning program, covered the formulation of comprehensive plans, the importance of public participation, what a good comprehensive plan can and cannot do, and what it cannot do, as well as short reviews of the various topics as related to the future of the City that will be a part of the plan, including racial equity, housing, economics, health and wellness, parks and recreation, public facilities, infrastructure, traffic, and other matters that will determine the livability of Spartanburg into the next 20 years.
City Staff expects to finalize recommendations to Council for a contract with a planning firm to create the Comprehensive Plan in the coming weeks, and the process is expected to take nearly two years to complete, with stakeholders and residents input sought throughout the process.
Also at Monday's meeting, Council approved final financing for the T.K. Gregg Community Center, currently under construction in the city's Northside neighborhood. The state-of-the-art facility will feature an indoor aquatics center with two pools—one for competitive and exercise lap swimming and one for water therapy and swimming lessons—as well as an indoor basketball gym, fitness center, walking track, and multiple community rooms, this new facility will serve as both a community anchor for Spartanburg's redeveloping Northside as well as a destination for residents throughout our city.
The financing plan includes issuing a bond for up to $15 million, though City Staff expects the total for the bond to be closer to around $13 million. Staff estimates the city could finance the new facility for 15 years at around 3.12 percent interest with an annual debt service of $1.91 million or for 20 years at around 3.4 percent with an annual debt service of $900,000. The debt would be repaid using Hospitality Tax funds. Total cost for the facility is expected to be around $18 million, and it is expected to open in spring of 2020.
For more from Monday's meeting, see the full video and roundup of our live tweets below.