‘Public safety was the number one concern’ says Horry County Planning and Zoning office

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – The Horry County Planning and Zoning Imagine 2040 committee is analyzing nearly 900 survey responses from people living in Horry County about what changes they would like to see through the year 2040. 

Of those responses, the majority of people responding said they lived in the Carolina Forest area. Community Development Planner, Leigh Kane, said they received a lot of response from people who’ve been living in the area more than 20 years, but also from people who have only been in the county between one and five years. “That’s a testament to the fact that people living here plan to stay here,” said Kane. 

Kane said the number one concern as the county continues to grow is public safety. Transportation and land use followed closely behind. Kane said people also indicated they were willing to pay more for improvements to these categories. She said this is important information to analyze because they have to find ways to address transportation needs while not compromising the safety of residents. 

“When we end up having rezoning requests and new subdivisions coming in, what that impact is on the roadway system, but also on the response times for public safety individuals like police departments and fire departments,” said Kane. 

She also said people indicated in the survey they wanted a sense of community by having more recreation centers, senior centers, and library systems. “Those facilities can also help people create a sense of pride in where they live,” said Kane. “They’re less likely to litter. They’re less likely to be involved in criminal activity, so where we site those facilities in the future can have a great impact on our county.” 

The Imagine 2040 committee will meet Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the Horry County Government and Justice Complex directly after the planning commission meeting. The next committee meeting will be April 12, and all meetings are open to the public. Kane said they are expecting to reveal the entire 2040 draft plan with information from the survey on June 14. From there, the plan will go to the planning commission and then to county council. Because county council requires three readings before the plan is approved, Kane said the committee is expecting to have it finalized by December. There will be opportunities for public input throughout the process, and if you want to track the progress of the plan as it develops, you can visit this website. 

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