HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County council voted Tuesday night to approve impact fees and flood protection measures.
The impact fees would apply to any new development in the county to offset the strain new developments put on county infrastructure. It will go into effect in 90 days.
After some discussion, some parts of the impact fee ordinance were taken out. It will exclude stormwater, transportation, EMS, and recreation centers. Chairman Johnny Gardner said he’s just excited it could pass Tuesday night.
“First time ever Horry County has one, and we have it now and I’m excited about it,” he said. “It’s good for everyone in Horry County. Horry County is a great place to live and work and now we have an impact fee.”
Gardner explained the impact fee as a way to help with the rapid growth in the county.
“The point of impact fees is for the next drain or service requirement that we need, is going to be paid for by the person that’s using it so the people here shouldn’t have to pay for what’s coming as an addition to people moving here,” he said.
The impact fees are one-time expense projects and are not recurring. For example, the impact fees can be used for a police vehicle, but not pay for the staffing of that unit. Gardner said even with stormwater, transportation, EMS, and recreation centers excluded, they could always revisit it.
“This is new to us so we’re going to have to monitor it and see how it plays out but we may have to add some things, take away some things,” Gardner said.
Not everyone supports the impact fees. Some developers think the fee should be the responsibility of the homebuyer. Another criticism is that it would cause too much strain on small businesses looking to build in the county.
Council also passed new flood prevention measures. The measure would increase the minimum height requirement from lowest floor and to the lot’s minimum base flood elevation. It increases the requirement from one foot to three feet.