The North Main Community Association Board has signed on to this letter that will be read at City Council on on 2/22:
Dear Greenville City Council,
Our District 1 Representative, Amy Ryberg-Doyle, recently informed local neighborhood associations that Waffle House intends to pursue litigation in their efforts to open a 24-hour diner adjacent to residential neighborhoods. We further understand that the city intends to vigorously fight Waffle House in court, and to defend the city zoning statutes enacted to protect the quality of life in existing residential neighborhoods adjacent to commercial corridors.
The stated goals of Greenville’s zoning ordinances include preserving the character of residential neighborhoods, protecting residents from noise, traffic congestion and intensive use, and encouraging development consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. Businesses in C-2 corridors have a direct impact on the adjacent residential communities. Diners that operate 24 hours have a known and well-documented crime problem that pose a threat to the quality of life to any adjacent neighborhood.
After Waffle House made clear its intention to operate on a 24/7-basis, the city clarified C-2 zoning to be consistent with the city-wide Greenville Comprehensive Plan and the city’s long-standing goal of protecting the character of the city’s residential neighborhoods. A citywide amendment to zoning was made that does not ban 24-hours of operation, but rather makes the issue subject to further public debate on a case by case basis. Waffle House can operate its diner, but the issue of 24 hours of operation would be subject to public hearing through the Board of Zoning Appeals.
This zoning change was implemented in a manner consistent with existing procedures and in a timely fashion. This was done months before Waffle House purchased the property or went to any significant expense to develop the site on which they wish to build.
Rather than pursue further debate or compromise, Waffle House has apparently decided to sue. The city and its residents find themselves subjected to a lawsuit because our city council has attempted to clarify and enforce zoning ordinances that are designed to minimize the impact of commercial development on abutting residential districts. We thank you for your efforts and resolve on behalf of the citizens of Greenville. Be assured that you have the full support of our associations. Please let us know of any way we may be able to assist the city of Greenville.