County Square redevelopment plan takes big step forward.

The Greenville City Council on Wednesday evening voted 6-1 to approve a zoning change that allows a proposed redevelopment project for County Square to move forward.

A major change to the original plan is a height limit of 12 floors instead of the proposed 20. The current zoning for the site caps it at six floors.

A second reading of the zoning change will need to pass Feb. 10 to be official. The city also asserted its role in some other details, such as approving traffic mitigation plans and controlling the design approval process as development moves forward, according to Councilman Wil Brasington.

The development would put the county-owned property, which is now mostly government offices, into a multi-use complex on 37.4 acres of land that is walking distance to some of the city's most popular attractions, including Falls Park and Fluor Field.

The dissenting vote was cast by Councilwoman Dorothy Dowe, who has questioned the projects impact on the area. Past concerns of a negative effect on affordable housing were allayed, however, after representatives of the Haynie-Sirrine neighborhood voiced support.

Brasington said the County Square project helped propel the City Council toward plans it has now for $7 million in affordable housing projects around the city.

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