Horry County Council hears residents’ concerns about flooding, rejects rezoning request

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County Council unanimously rejected a rezoning request Tuesday night that would have brought almost 400 homes to an area off Highway 905.

The proposal generated lots of public discussion before council members denied the request. The applicant, Thomas and Hutton, was requesting to rezone 300 acres from commercial agriculture district to multi-residential in order to build 362 single-family homes on a lot at West Bear Grass Road off Highway 905.

“Density-wise, it was a tremendous amount of density, but there’s just been a lot of issues with drainage,” District 9 Councilman Mark Causey said.

The acreage is in Causey’s district, and he said he had talked to officials with Thomas and Hutton who said they had talked to residents in the area.

According to county documents, the area would sit on wetlands, something that concerned several community members.

“We have at least 50 lots that are plotted within the wetlands, with 110 acres of wetlands on the parcel without really a substantial wetland buffer,” said April O’Leary of Horry County Rising, a grassroots group that focuses on flooding, growth, development and other quality-of-life issues. 

Another resident said: “We used to just worry about the hurricanes. Now we worry about those 5-inch rains that we get probably twice a year now.”

The designed lots are not within the regulatory floodplain, but council members denied the request.

Tuesday night’s meeting was also the first council meeting of the new year, chairman Johnny Gardner gave his state of the council address.

“We fully anticipate that growth will continue in Horry County and we are rising to meet these challenges,” he said. “We have more resources than ever before to meet the needs of our county.”

There are several public meetings scheduled this week. There will be a redistricting meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday in council chambers to talk about preliminary maps. In addition, the county planning commission will meet on Thursday.

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