HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County council members want to limit growth in one part of the county by putting temporary holds on re-zonings.
Horry County said traffic on Highway 90 from Highway 501 to Highway 22 has increased by 120% in some areas. With infrastructure struggling to keep up with growth in this corridor, county council wants to pump the brakes.
“Growth is an issue,” Councilman Dennis DiSabato said. “It’s something that we’re having a very difficult time right now maintaining as a county.”
DiSabato said growth has been explosive county-wide. In certain parts, infrastructure hasn’t kept up. Which is why council wants to limit re-zonings within 1.5 miles of Highway 90 from Highway 501 all the way to Highway 22.
“What we’re trying to do now is slow down the growth to a certain degree to try and help let us as a county catch up to the infrastructure needs,” DiSabato said.
He said fixing infrastructure issues along Highway 90 is a half a billion dollar project. Among the needs — increased public safety and another fire station.
“But I think the most important one right now is the storm water and the traffic,” DiSabato said.
One area resident, Heather Davis, said traffic and a lot of houses are the only things being added to the area.
Another addressed the flooding issues.
“That water just comes back into our property and we don’t know how to get rid of it,” said Paul Vinison, another area resident. “That’s our problem. We don’t know what to do other than each year it just gets worse and worse.”
DiSabato said right now there aren’t plans to limit growth and re-zonings in other parts of the county. He added that this would only be a short-term solution.
“We’ve got to manage growth, not stop growth,” he said. “That’s what we need to figure out a way to do. We have to manage the growth properly rather than putting a line in the sand saying there won’t be anymore.”
There isn’t a specific timeline for how long a pause in re-zonings would last. The county said it would be until the necessary improvements are made to Highway 90.
At a committee meeting Tuesday, members approved to move to discussions about limiting expansion of the corridor. Several community members at the meeting said it won’t make a difference unless funding is used to improve long-term highway maintenance.
Councilman Danny Hardee said council has to consider all needs of the community before approving new developments.
“You look at your road conditions, your public safety, your water, your schools — even though we’re not the school board, we look at all that,” Hardee said. “And if that plan they present doesn’t meet those needs then they [need to] improve it or we don’t approve it.”
The resolution would not put a moratorium on any construction. And it also would prevent requests for re-zoning.
Hardee said there are still a lot of questions that will be discussed with the South Carolina Department of Transportation and state legislatures about the concerns.
Improvements to the highway could cost about $300 million.