HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Carolina Forest residents packed the first Horry County Council meeting of 2023 to voice their concerns about a possible rezoning that could bring more than 1,000 new homes to the area.

The proposed development would be in the area of Highway 501 and Legends Drive.

“It’s quite a busy street as it is,” said Patty Jernigan, a resident in the area. “They want to double the amount of homes on this 20-acre lot.”

Many residents complained to council that during normal traffic conditions, there’s about a 5-minute wait to get through the intersection.

“Between the light, the flooding, and then the car accidents, we have car accidents there every single week,” Jernigan said. “The traffic does not move properly. So people run the light, get hit. Sometimes we’ll have two accidents in the same day and if it happens in the middle of the intersection…you can’t get out.”

Horry County Planning and Zoning Director David Jordan told council the homes are needed to accommodate the amount of people moving to the area.

Mike Masciarelli, a new councilman who represents District 8 said he’s been looking into the issue since November.

“We already have overcrowded schools,” Masciarelli said. “The Legends Drive issue with potentially 300 or 400 apartments would feed into a school that’s already at 140% capacity.”

Masciarelli said council will work with developers over the next few months to resolve the issue.

Council ultimately deferred voting on the proposed development.

“I’m happy with it because hopefully the developer will come up with some solutions,” Jernigan said.

A representative with the applicant told council and the public that it planned it the way it was supposed to be done in compliance with the comprehensive plan.