Planning commission approves re-zoning to build nearly 300 new homes in Horry County, many in floodplain

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The Horry County Planning Commission unanimously passed a re-zoning request Thursday night that would result in nearly 300 new homes near Highway 501 and Highway 31, with many of the homes being in a floodplain.

The 301-acre re-zoning request would result in the building of 214 single-family units and 63 townhomes, according to the commission. Of those units, about 80 units would be located within the 500-year floodplain and 60 would be within the 100-year floodplain, according to documents.

A 100 year floodplain is an area that has a 1% — or 1 in 100 — chance of flooding in a given year. A 500 year floodplain is an area that has a 0.2% — or 1 in 500 — chance of flooding in a given year, according to the USGS.

A home in a 100 year floodplain has a 26% chance of flooding at least once during a 30-year mortgage, while a home in a 500 year floodplain has a 6% chance of flooding at least once during a 30-year mortgage.

“A lot of the residents in that area shared concerns about seeing a lot of flooding impacts since highway 90 was constructed. They were attributing that new highway to their flooding,” said April O’Leary, the president and founder of Horry County Rising.

O’Leary added that, “We get super concerned when we see future families moving to Horry County that will buy these homes and we already know that surrounding neighbors or nearby residents are experiencing flood impacts right now.”

Horry County council member Cam Crawford said he wants to take a look at the area, to see if flooding would be the issue before diminishing the project.

“There are economic consequences to that. If you just shut that off then what I’m afraid the result will be, if that’s the goal then unemployment will go up significantly and we’ll still flood,” Crawford said.

Crawford said he wants to take a look at the record amounts of rainfall and management of water coming out of North Carolina.

“I’m not a huge fan of building in the flood plain, I’m not. When we’re talking about this issue I think it’s critical that we really make sure we get it right because if we don’t, there will be consequences,” Crawford said.

Recently, many areas in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee have experienced flooding.

The re-zoning request now goes to Horry County Council for action.

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