Burgess area residents speak out against proposed rezoning along Highway 707

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Dozens of residents in the Burgess community of Horry County spoke out Wednesday against a plan that would bring about 4,000 new homes along Highway 707.

The developers and engineers behind a proposed rezoning request held a drop-in meeting Wednesday night to inform residents and answer their questions.

“First of all, I think they’re putting way too many homes in here,” resident Pat Gendernalik said.

It’s 3,700 homes on 706 acres along Highway 707.

In addition to concerns about infrastructure not being able to support the project, many residents said they’re worried about the sheer growth a project of this size would bring.

“If it was a 250- or 500-parcel lot that they were gonna do, no problem,” resident Howard Mcpherson said. “I think everybody in the room would vote for it. But 3,700 homes is a little too much to swallow in one bite.”

Traffic is another concern for many.

“We’re mostly concerned about the traffic because it’s awfully, awfully busy at this point,” resident David Koenig said.

Gendernalik said: “I understand development, but I don’t think planning has really taken place correctly to address some of the concerns — the traffic, the fire, the police response, the school system, the wetlands, the flooding, the evacuation if we need for hurricanes. All of that has not been addressed or answered in my eyes for us as a community.”

Schools are another big concern. The development would be located next to St. James High School, which already is 108 percent capacity.

Data from the Planning and Zoning Commission

Some residents say they’re concerned about the students and teachers with schools past full capacity. Some said a solution would be to build more schools.

“With the way the teacher shortage is, they can build all the schools they want. If they can’t get the teachers demand, then what good does it do,” resident Ginny Rowe said.

The rezoning request will be talked about at the Jan. 6 Horry County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

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