Greenville’s Planning and Zoning Commission has signed off on one measure that would allow gun sales at indoor shooting facilities and another that would allow a self-storage facility at a site where apartments have been denied in Bells Fork.

The panel at its meeting on Tuesday unanimously approved a text amendment to city zoning code sought by a group that wants to operate an indoor shooting range. Mike Biggerstaff, one of the project’s partners, said his group also wants to sell guns and ammo.

“It seems to me the two go hand and hand,” Biggerstaff said. “You can’t have a range without being able to sell ammunition at the same time. To be able to buy a firearm and try it out at the range before you make a purchase. The two go hand in hand.”

The city’s planning and development regulations allow indoor shooting ranges in areas with industrial zoning with a special use permit. But the language did not permit guns, ammunition and other weapon accessories to be sold on site.

Biggerstaff’s group received a permit in May from the city Board of Adjustment to operate a range in a former warehouse at 100 Staton Road, near its intersection with North Memorial Drive.

The partners have since decided to relocate the facility because a neighboring business, Coastal Agrobusiness, raised concerns about noise, Biggerstaff said. Once they have the location, they still want a sales area, he said.

Biggerstaff said indoor ranges in the region and across the state have connected shops.

After discussion about what qualifies as an accessory use, the commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the text amendment. It now goes to Greenville City Council for final approval.

Commercial rezoning

A request to rezone nearly 7.8 acres of vacant property located between three roadways in the Bells Fork area demonstrated difficulties city staff and the planning board have with determining the best use for certain properties in the city.


The site is east of Kittrell Road between East Fire Tower and Bells Fork roads. It sits between Bells Fork Square shopping center, single family housing and an apartment complex that’s under construction.

In early 2020, the property owners requested the land be rezoned so they could build an apartment complex for seniors. While city staff recommended approving the request, the city council denied it, citing concerns about increased traffic on Fire Tower Road.

Scott Anderson, a consultant, said the property owners sought a low-traffic use for the property after the council denied the multi-family rezoning so they want to build a mini-storage facility on the site. Not only would mini-storage generate less traffic than an apartment complex, but the required general commercial zoning is found nearby.

Chief Planner Chantae Gooby said staff recommended denying the request because general commercial didn’t suit the property because there needs to be a buffer between general commercial and single family homes. Multifamily development meets that criteria.

“We believe the commercial zoning, while not recommended by staff because it’s not in the land use plan, is the best use,” said Dustin Mills, a project investor.

“I feel the landowners are in a Catch-22 here,” said Commission Chairman Kevin Faison. “It’s almost unfair to them. It is a very special piece of property, how it’s laid out. I appreciate them opening up that they want to use it as mini- storage. But at the same time we have to consider that if we approve this we are approving anything that falls under general commercial.”

A motion to deny the rezoning request failed 4-3 with commission members Max Ray Joyner III, Hap Maxwell and Alan Brock voting in favor of denial and Les Robinson, Michael Overton, John Collins and Allen Thomas voting against denial.

A motion to approve general commercial rezoning passed 4-3 with Robinson, Overton, Collins and Thomas for yes and Joyner, Maxwell and Brock voting no. The council has final approval.

In other business the commission recommended for approval:

  • Rezoning 57.9 acres south of East 10th Street between Oakdowne Way and Pinewood Memorial Park from office and single family residential zoning to a combination of high density multi-family and medium density multi-family including a section with a conservation overlay. The zoning would accommodate a mixed use development between Lowes Home Improvement and Pinewood Cemetery. More details will be published Friday.
  • Rezoning one acre at the northwestern corner of the intersection of West Fifth Street and Brighton Park Drive from medical office to medical-residential high density multi-family. Gooby said the developers of a nearby apartment complex want to install a clubhouse and swimming pool on the property.
  • A preliminary plat for a development that will be called “The Dickinson,” located on 23 acres on the south side of Dickinson Avenue, north of Southwest Greenville Boulevard and west of Williams Road.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.