Richland County Government




Office of the County Administrator



To: Council Members

From: Roxanne Matthews

Date: November 19, 2004

Subject: A&F Agenda Item D: Greenways for Richland County : A Countywide Master Plan

Attached is A&F Agenda Item D: Greenways for Richland County : A Countywide Master Plan.

This item was received Friday, November 19, 2004 at 3:30 p.m. ; thus its exclusion from the agenda packet.

Please contact Roxanne Matthews at (803) 576-2057 if you have any questions.

for Richland County :
A Countywide Master Plan


A greenway commonly refers to a linear open space or natural area along a watercourse. It can be used to connect people with parklands, natural or historical sites and enhance and protect recreational opportunities, natural habitat and scenic areas.


A Proposal

Palmetto Conservation proposes to work with Richland County to prepare a countywide greenways plan. It is proposed that Richland County establish a special ad hoc committee to study opportunities for greenways in Richland County and to recommend steps, policies and procedures for implementing these useful and innovative facilities for our citizens. Palmetto Conservation would provide staff and consulting services to the committee.



Richland County already has some of South Carolina 's premiere greenways and trails including the Three Rivers Greenway and the Palmetto Trail. A first-of-its-kind countywide community input and planning process would enable Richland County to capitalize on the momentum of these exciting projects and work across many jurisdictions to establish regional priorities for new greenways. It would help set new construction standards and operational guidelines to maximize benefits for residents in all parts of the county, especially areas that are currently underserved by greenways. In addition, in conjunction with the county's existing Conservation Commission, a greenways plan could also provide individual communities with guidance in the areas of open space acquisition and management.


What are the benefits of a countywide greenways plan?

Richland County 's greenways plan will help attract additional private and public funding for development by giving environmentally conscious businesses a resource for planned contributions. Upon construction greenways become powerful economic development tools. In Indianapolis , the city's 20-mile Monon Rail-Trail has become the equivalent of “beachfront property” according to The Indianapolis Star newspaper. In Raleigh , greenways have boosted neighboring property values by as much as 30% and increased the county's tax base. The Three Rivers Greenway, for instance, has already spurred residential and commercial development on property adjacent to the greenway.


What would the greenway plan entail?

A comprehensive greenway plan would require a 6-to-9-month, three-part process:

•  Establishment of an Ad hoc Greenways Committee comprised of County residents with interests and backgrounds in recreation, transportation, active living and other related fields. This committee will be responsible for working with Foundation staff to formulate a plan for presentation to County Council

•  Pre-arranged stakeholder meetings with local governments, non-profits, citizens and other groups to inventory existing projects & ascertain new plans. These meetings would include consolidation of existing plans including SC DOT alternative transportation plans, Richland County comprehensive plans, Central Midlands COG plans, etc…

•  Community workshops in jurisdictions, towns and cities across the county to encourage countywide citizen participation & distribute surveys. In addition, outreach segment would include the establishment of a website and an online tutorial about the greenways plan.

•  A community charrette process (an intense 2-3 day planning and design workshop) to outline prospective greenway corridors and educate citizens about the potential for greenway development


What would the greenway plan produce?

•  Richland County Greenway Plan booklet (2,000 bound copies full-color) including background, benefits of greenways, details of the process, identifies & prioritizes specific greenway corridors, present action steps, costs and implementation timetable.

•  Richland County Greenways Plan maps (presentation size and brochures for public distribution)

•  Unveiling of plan with public event & website maintained ongoing


What is the cost of producing the Greenways Plan?

We recommend that the Council make an allocation of $35,000 from the hospitality tax to begin funding the committee work. Additional funding will be solicited from private and other sources to help fund related elements of the program.