John Paul II Tour

A turf football field is a part of an athletics complex at John Paul II Catholic High School.

The Greenville City Council on Monday approved requests that will allow third-party use of athletic facilities at the Catholic high school and developments on Portertown Road.

The votes were among 14 taken by the council during a continuation of its Thursday meeting. The unanimous vote to approve a revision of the city code for John Paul II and other private schools came after a months-long negotiation between the owner of its athletic complex and surrounding homeowners.

It will limit third-party use of lights and amplified sound at the complex to once a month. School use of light and sound is restricted to 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Prior to the vote, Councilman Rick Smiley asked staff to clarify school use of the facility versus third-party use. Planner Brad Sceviour said school use is limited to events in which the school had a lead role and was heavily involved in event organization.

It the school organized an event with a charity group, including providing resources and staffing, it would be considered a school event. If the charity group simply rented the facility, Sceviour said, it would be considered third-party use.

In other action, Mayor P.J. Connelly had to break a tie in a vote to rezone 14.221 acres on Portertown Road between Eastern Pines Road and Norfolk Southern Railroad to allow for commercial and high-density residential development.

Concerns about traffic levels on Portertown were among those raised by residents in opposition to the rezoning on Thursday. City traffic engineers reported that the road currently is rated for 12,000 to 13,000 trips per day but currently carries up to 14,000. The development is expected to add another 5,000.

Smiley said the request is premature and should not be approved until Portertown is widened. City staff reported Monday that won’t happen until after 2028, when construction on a widening project is scheduled to begin.

“To pass this rezoning now would just magnify the traffic problem in that area,” he said.

His motion to deny the request failed 4-2 with Monica Daniels voting with Smiley, and Will Bell, Rose Glover, Will Litchfield and Brian Meyerhoeffer voting against the motion.

Litchfield moved to approve the request and Bell seconded that motion. Meyerhoeffer voted with them, but Glover voted against the motion, forcing Connelly to break the 3-3 tie in favor of the request.

The council had to schedule another vote on the matter at its meeting in October because first attempts to change an ordinance must pass by a two-thirds majority.

The board voted unanimously to approve all other requests on the agenda including one to rezone 33.849 acres northeast of the intersection of Herman Garris Road and Portertown to allow for medium-density residential development. The request had drawn opposition during Thursday’s meeting and Planning and Zoning Commission discussion.

The council also approved a job creation grant for World Cat, which announced it will use the money to rehab a facility on Staton Road and bring 60 boat-building jobs to Greenville.

It also canceled a joint meeting with the Greenville Utilities Commission scheduled for Sept. 21 and held a closed session to discuss economic development business. No vote was taken on the the matters after the session ended.

Contact Bobby Burns at baburns@reflector.com and 329.9572.