HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Carolina Forest residents shared concerns Wednesday night over proposed development along Postal Way.
District 3 Councilman Dennis DiSabato gave the community a chance to learn information from those who are directly involved with the proposed Postal Way rezoning.
“We vote this down [Thursday] or not, this property is going to end up getting developed at some point,” he said. “Under its current use, or through some other zoning, it’s going to get developed at some point. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s going to have to happen.”
Many residents told council to put a stop to the proposed project.
“My biggest issue is overcrowding, not only for our schools, but for the area in general,” Regina Glazer said. “Postal Way cannot handle this much traffic. Even with the proposed infrastructure upgrades, it still is not going to be sufficient enough to handle the traffic.”
“It affects quality of life,” Glazer said. “And then the other issues we have, our emergency vehicles getting to us if we have an emergency. It takes longer for them to get to us through traffic and or down Postal [Way], to get to us on Gardner Lacey on the other side of Carolina Forest Boulevard. It’s an issue of concern.”
The proposed plan involves 1,200 new homes and numerous infrastructure upgrades in Carolina Forest. The Horry County planning commission approved two rezoning requests. Both projects come with an agreement between the developers and county leaders for the widening of Postal Way to three lanes to ease traffic congestion in the area, as well as a multi-use path that would connect to Carolina Forest High School.
Officials said the high school and elementary schools are over 100% capacity.
“What I would prefer happen, if it gets developed is that they pay for the infrastructure improvements that are needed,” DiSabato said. “With that existing capacity that’s going to increase, you guys have to pay for it down the line. You’re going to if the density increases, at some point, the roads are going to have to be built to help address that increased density. And if they don’t pay for it now, we’re going to pay for it later.”
The developers said they did a traffic study in response to the concerns over traffic to see the impacts of the project’s construction.
“The intersections that are modeled as a part of the project, there are some who see that that will see a slight increase in wait times,” said Sean Flynn, regional director for Thomas and Hutton. “And there are some that will see a slight decrease in wait times because of the way that the roads interconnect.”
Most residents still are not sold and want more input in the planning and other departments involved.
“You have to have the school board, you have to have the developers, you have to have the planning department, the police department, the fire department, zoning, you have to have everybody at the table join,” Michelle Greene said. “The entire phase of development just for transparency sake.”
Residents told News13 they felt like the meeting went well and hopes council and the developers hear their concerns.
The proposal will be voted on a second time at the May 16 council meeting.
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Maya Lockett is a reporter at News13. Maya is from Los Angeles. She joined the News13 team in November 2021. She graduated from Syracuse University. Follow Maya on Twitter and read more of her work here.