Rural Renewal – Our Town, Our Vision, Our Future
The Town of West Pelzer aimed to reverse the decline of its downtown Frankville Business District and transform it into a vibrant commercial space that could serve its growing population. Through an intensive research and development process, it created a new Rural Renewal Master Plan that seeks to reinvigorate commerce, reinvent existing spaces and encourage intentional growth.
Using consultants, the town embarked on a wide-ranging, inclusive project to draft the plan. More than 30% of the town’s residents gave their input, explaining their desire to embrace the rural character of their community and its history while still created vibrant places for people to gather and do business, and to promote safety, walkability and connectivity. The town conducted virtual steering committee meetings and workshops to allow the widest possible participation among residents and business owners.
Staff from the town and collaborating staff from Anderson County collectively spent 250 hours developing the plan. West Pelzer funded the project by using American Rescue Plan Act funds.
As the town implements the plan’s recommendations, it has obtained more than $75,000 in grant funds for action items like the expansion of Chapman Park and the creation of a free coworking space for residence. The plan will guide the town’s use of its allocated American Rescue Plan funds, including such projects as passive parks, new downtown public spaces, landscaping and on-street parking. Already, a downtown that was once completely empty of active businesses has achieved a 95% business occupancy rate.
Contact Mayor Blake Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org or 864.617.0347.