Island Green community petitions against future development, traffic concerns, wildlife threat

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – The Island Green community is pushing back against future development plans they say would overcrowd the community.

There are over 1200 homes in the Island Green community and only one narrow road for residents to get in and out. The Island Green community created a petition against future development as their safety has been a growing concern for years.

“I would like to see it stay like this, to be honest with you,” Linda Peters, an Island Green resident since 2014, said.

Island Green residents raise concern over approved development plans on the Island Green Golf Course that’s been closed for years. They say the future development would jeopardize the neighborhood by creating additional traffic concerns and threaten nature and wildlife.

“We are protesting the fact that he wants to build about 500+ residences within the golf course community,” Peters said.

The Island Green Golf Course property is already zoned for development, and plans are approved to build 134 homes north off Sunnehanna Drive during Phase One of the development project, according to Steve Powell, the President of Venture Engineering.

The construction set to start in the next month or so is building apprehension for residents.

“What are we going to do when there is an emergency or if the road is blocked due to a hurricane and trees down? How else would we all try to escape this community need we have to?” Peters said.

Entering and exiting Island Green is a top concern for neighbors. There is only one road into Sunnehanna Drive and the same road that goes out. Neighbors are worried, now, trying to imagine adding hundreds of more vehicles to the picture.

“We were hoping to get an access road to Bay Road so that we could have another way of getting out,” Peters said.

Dawne Dunton is the organizer of the “Help the Community of Island Green” petition receiving over 400 signatures. The four major concerns pointed out in the petition are community safety, flooding, wildlife, and nature.

“I have come to love this community and the people and why do we have to fear to flood because somebody wants to build here,” Dawne Dunton, the petition organizer said.

“So we need to have him address that issue adding all these new residences as he builds them. Are they going to be impacted by floods?” Peters said.

During emergencies when residents have to act fast, neighbors say adding more traffic amplifies risk.

“Our safety is an issue, a really big issue, and I don’t understand why profits are more important than our safety,” Dunton said.

News13 reached out to Venture Engineering and Bob Williamsen to ask about development plans and progress. Venture Engineering President, Steve Powell, said:

“The zoning and plan approvals include a requirement for my client to complete expected expenditures of more than $1 million dollars to make improvements to Sunnehanna Drive, a road that the “community” has failed to adequately maintain. We anticipate that construction will start on Phase 1 in the next month or so. This property has always been zoned GR, which allows single-family homes of 6,000 SF or more, or up to 20 apartment units per acre. The residential use we are building is the least intensive use allowed under the current zoning on this land.”

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