Horry County approves homes near SC Highway 90 as development legal battle looms

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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County Council gave final approval to a housing development near South Carolina Highway 90, which is where neighbors have opposed several different proposals in recent years.

Council voted 7-5 at a meeting Tuesday night, narrowly passing final reading of the latest plan. This one calls for 69 homes on about 45 acres off Old Highway 90. The property is across the street from the recently opened Carolina Pines RV Resort, which is still under construction.

Map of the location of the approved development. (Courtesy: Horry County)

Finley MacIver, who lives near the property, told council why she believes no development should happen in the area.

“This property lies directly in a box of matches,” MacIver said. “This property lies in a bubble, the island, the Alcatraz of Horry County. When Hurricane Florence ransacked our lives, your constituents in this area were left stranded.”

Like people who live near highway 90, other residents have fought proposed developments, fearing more building means worse wildfires, flooding, traffic and public safety.

“I’m going to ask that we have a moment of silence for 15 seconds,” said Janice St. Pierre, during her time for public comment at council’s meeting. “Now imagine that 15 seconds is 10, 20 or 30 minutes. Imagine waiting that long if you have a loved one that’s waiting for an ambulance.”

It’s the latest development approved since a group of residents began legal action to prevent the county from allowing any more construction. A motions hearing is scheduled on Oct. 14 for the court to place a temporary injunction to block new development.

The engineer for the Old Highway 90 project says no wetlands will be touched.

Blueprints for the proposed 69 homes off Old Highway 90. (Courtesy: Horry County)

“This is 69 10,000-square-foot lots,” said Felix Pitts of G3 Engineering. “I’ve never said 7,000-square-foot lots in front of planning commission, nor do we intend to develop 7,000-square-foot lots.”

County planners say even if those lots are smaller than 10,000 square feet, any extra space could not be used for more homes than promised.

“They can increase the size of their pond, but they cannot increase the number of units,” said county planning director David Schwerd.

The property was part of a 1,400-home proposal near Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve that council narrowly rejected last year.

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