Conway approves new map to guide development and prevent flooding

Grand Strand

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The city has a new map to guide leaders on how it will look over the next decade.

Hurricane Florence was the largest of several floods, damaging or destroying homes last decade. At the start of the 2020s, the city will have a new map to conserve land and try to prevent floods like this again.

City planning and development director Mary Catherine Hyman says flooding was the number one issue addressed in a new land use map.

“The map that was done 10 years ago,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of flooding events since that time. You’re going to see a lot more conservation areas identified on the future land use map than we saw 10 years ago.”

City council unanimously gave final approval to the map at its meeting Monday. This new map is part of Conway’s comprehensive plan, which is like Horry County’s recently passed Imagine 2040 plan, but only within city limits. It defines land within flood zones and other open space as “conservation preservation.”

Last summer, residents also had several chances to say how the city could improve their neighborhoods.

“We broke the city up into different areas, so we could really zero in on what use is needed to go in certain areas,” Hyman said.

Some other goals of the new map include promoting more business downtown and infrastructure improvements.

“We looked at future transportation projects and how that might change the landscape along some corridors,” said Hyman. “We looked at the railroad coming back. We looked at how industry could be located along the railroad in certain spaces.”

The next step is for city planners to update the natural resources section of the comprehensive plan. The city will soon have an interactive land use map available on its website, where you can see which land use zone your home is located in.

Also at Monday’s meeting, Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy was sworn in for her second term. Council member Larry White, who has served since 2009, took his oath again. Two new members, Alex Hyman and Justin Jordan, were also sworn in at their first council meeting.

Council member Shane Hubbard was unanimously selected as mayor pro tempore.

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