Minutes from June 7 Meeting on Bennett Street Subdivision

Neighborhood Meeting: Bennett Street Subdivision

SD 18-010

June 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm located at the Hughes Branch/Main Library


Presented by Jay Martin of Arbor Engineering.

Meeting Notes taken by Macie Lawton of Arbor Engineering.

Attendees were asked to sign in when entering the room.

Meeting began at 7:00

Arbor represents Cothran Properties (the Developer). This meeting has been called to discuss the subdividing of two adjacent lots located on Bennett Street.  The two lots are currently zoned R-6. The zoning would allow for 15 lots (2.17 acres x 7.3 units per acre). The proposed subdivision will include 8 total lots, with each lot being 40’ x 70’ (or about 2800 square feet per lot). One unit will be built on each lot. Each unit will have a two car, front facing garage and an additional space in which to park 2 cars outside of the garage. The subdivision will utilize a private drive running parallel to Bennett Street. The private drive will be a two way road (20’ wide) in order to accommodate a firetruck. A storm drain line (minimum 48”) will allow stormwater to be held on the site before releasing, and will accommodate a 100 year storm event.

Questions Asked:

  • Owner whose property backs up to Lot 1 asked: Will there be a retaining wall(s)?
    • Goal to have no or limited retaining walls on site. Instead it would be the goal to incorporate retaining wall into the structure of the house, if necessary. Lots 1 and 2 are the toughest to grade and present the biggest challenge.
  • Why does this subdivision incorporate a private drive instead of direct access from each lot onto Bennett Street?
    • If we lot off a private drive, the standards of a city street must be met; this proposed solution allows us to lot off of Bennett Street. We have a significant grade change and the private drive allows for us to mitigate that grade change.
  • There is an alleyway in the back of the property; will this be used for access?
    • The alleyway will not be used, and there is no intention of using it. Furthermore, there is no plan to disturb Tremont.
  • Do you have an opinion from the City on who owns the alleyway?
    • It would appear that the City owns the alleyway, but the City has not given an answer regarding ownership.
  • Are you keeping sidewalk?
  • Are you eliminating existing trees along the sidewalk?
    • Yes and no. It is the goal to keep and maintain as many trees along the sidewalk as possible, but in certain areas grading will dictate the removal of some existing trees which will have to be replaced.
  • Owner across from Lots 1 and 2: Will 48” pipe handle water at the side of the property (formerly belonging to the Tindall family)?
    • 48” is the minimum pipe size we will utilize. Pipe could be larger and will handle the water at the side of the property.
  • In discussing stormwater, do you think there is a difference between “in keeping with the ordinances” and doing what is right?
    • Plan is to capture, hold, and release stormwater. The plan will accomplish this not just to keep with the ordinances, but also because it is the right thing to do. The project will certainly add to the imperviousness, but if we cannot handle a 100 year storm event, the City of Greenville will not give us permits for the project.
  • Will water go from site to site to site to site to Bennett Street or how will it flow?
    • Stormwater will flow from the rear of the property to the front of the property, and the private drive and proposed storm drain will gather the water and then convey it to the system that flows in Bennett Street.
  • Greenville County GIS shows that existing lots along Bennett Street are 70’-100’ wide, has the developer considered decreasing lot numbers to keep with the existing character of the neighborhood?
    • The developer has not considered developing less than 8 lots, but did drop original number from 10 to 8.
  • Will the private drive be a permeable surface?
    • The private drive will be an impervious surface.
  • As far as design goes, will these houses just be boxes?
    • Cannot answer this question definitively or specifically, but the intent is to build houses in keeping with new home concepts that are currently being built. Additionally, these homes will likely be $750,000 homes and will be constructed of materials that fit into that price range/budget.
  • How are you going to get sanitary sewer from Lot 1 up to the top of the property?
    • Sanitary Sewer exists within Bennett Street and each lot will tie in to the existing sewer line.
  • Additionally, where are you in the process with DHEC?
    • We are not anywhere close to submitting to DHEC at this point, and while we cannot speak to their approval, we do know that DHEC’s primary concern is not whether detention occurs above ground or below ground, but rather that it handles a 25 year storm event.
  • Are you concerned about sight lines in and out of project?
    • SCDOT will have to approve the sight lines for this project, so we are confident that that will be addressed should there be any issues. Additionally, we feel confident that SCDOT will be in favor of having two entrances for safety reasons.
  • Neighbor currently uses parking on the street in front of the property: will he be restricted from using it once this is developed?
    • Only limited by the two access points into the property. There will be no “No Parking Areas”.
  • Where are you in the process of ownership of this property?
    • Currently the existing owner still holds the deed to the property. We are in due diligence period.
  • Will the developer be building custom homes or more like tract homes/person has styles to choose from?
    • The developer has two options. He could develop and build them himself, or he could sell the lots to custom builders to build on.
  • Who will maintain the private drive?
    • The Homeowners Association will maintain the private drive.
  • Since Cothran also has another application pending for a development on Stone Avenue, what is to say he won’t develop these simulaneously?
    • Stone Avenue and Bennett Street are two very different projects. Cothran can develop them at the same time, but they are entirely different products.
  • Is it possible to develop this property without the private drive?
    • There is a 20’ drop into the site, so it is not possible.
  • What is the percentage drop into the site using the private drive?
    • 12%.
  • If windbreaker trees are removed, then what will happen?
    • There is never assurance that a tree will not go down. Trees go down for many reasons, not always wind related. While the hope is that this will not be the case on this site, no assurance can be made in that regard. Any trees we remove will be replaced in accordance with the Tree Ordinance and Infill Ordinance.
  • What is being proposed will border the entire back of our property where we currently have a swimming pool? This pool is completely private and screened by trees. Our concern is how the development will affect this privacy: will trees come down? Will the home on Lot 8 have windows that would enable views of the pool?
    • Lot 8 is the largest lot and will allow for up to a 25’ buffer. Prefer for existing trees to remain and add plantings.
  • Will the small strip of land in front of Lot 8 be entirely cleared of trees enabling those driving in and out of this development direct view of the pool?
    • Most of that area will be cleared. Tree planting will occur.
  • When we purchased our home, we were lead to believe Tremont Avenue was not allowed to be built on. How is it now buildable?
    • That portion of Tremont has been extinguished. There is no plan to build on Tremont.
  • Greatest concern is maintaining screening between our property and this proposed development. However we are also concerned about additional traffic and noise during the building process and once the homes are completed?
    • Both traffic and noise are limited by City ordinance.
  • We understand people want to make money but eight houses? You guys can’t bring that number down at all?
    • 8 is a reduction from the original 10, and a reduction from what the zoning allows.
  • We are extremely worried you guys are going to tear down every tree on that property to “make it easier” to build on it?
    • Many trees will come down, but the site is not to be mass graded. Intent to take down what is necessary to get to grade as quickly as possible.
  • We also would like you to make sure you include 2 car garages for these houses. If every house has 2 cars then that’s a minimum of 16 extra cars on the block.
    • Yes, we are including two car garages for each house.
  • Please also keep a sidewalk on that side of the street.
    • Sidewalk will remain.
  • What would a possible construction schedule be?
    • The first house would be complete in 12 months, and the last house in 24 months.
  • What are proposed lighting plans for this area?
    • There is no lighting plan that is required.
  • Will woods be cleaned out?
    • Yes, existing wooded areas will be cleansed of underbrush and several existing wooded areas will be removed altogether in keeping with the Tree Ordinance.


Concerns Stated:

  • Developer not being a good neighbor if he does not consider decreasing the number of lots to be reflective of lot width already existing on the street
  • Neighbor tried to get circular drive approved and the City stated it was not in keeping with the character of the neighborhood, so how could this development get approved
  • Traffic volume from 8 homes
  • Water flow
  • Private drive sets these homeowners apart from others
  • Not in keeping with character of the neighborhood
  • Worried it will look like Chick Springs area
  • Steep driveways into each lot would actually be more in keeping with the neighborhood
  • Noise and lighting pollution
  • Losing windbreaking trees, canopy trees, vegetation
  • Street parking


Other statements:

  • To clarify, we chose to live in an urban area. Traffic is going to be there and we need to “suck it up” and deal with it.
  • If Covenants and Deed Restrictions were put into place early on, there would be some control over types of homes to be built
  • Likes the two entries into the property from a safety perspective



Minutes from June 7 Meeting on Bennett Street Subdivision
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