‘The developer won’: Despite upset residents, more than 400 homes will be built in Island Green

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – After nearly six months of discussions, the Horry County Planning Commission approved the addition of more than 400 homes in the Island Green community near Socastee.

People who live in the neighborhood say the commission is not taking public safety into account.

For Jenny Ward, who lives in the Island Green community in Socastee, tonight was a let-down.

“The developer won,” she said.

The Horry County Planning Commission was a tie vote again Thursday night on whether or not to allow developers to add 331 single-family houses and 115 town homes to the community, until the Chairman voted yea to make it five to four.

Ward is concerned for the safety of those in the neighborhood, because there’s only one way in and out.

“We’re going to have 1,843 families trying to get in and out of one exit,” said Ward. “That’s just daily traffic. God forbid if there’s a fire, if there is a hurricane, we have had flooding in Island Green.”

The developer says they want to help, and proposes to have everybody living in Island Green to pay approximately $400 to help fix Sunnehanna Drive.

“We want to invest, we want to help the community, that’s why we’re here,” said the developer, Bob Williams. “We care about these people, we care about the community. We know they’re disappointed the golf course is closed, I understand that. That wasn’t us, but we’re trying to figure out how to solve problems that have been ongoing for three plus decades.”

But, the crowd wasn’t having it.

“Liar, liar,” chanted the residents, all wearing green in solidarity.

“No, we’re not going to call people liars here, not in my meeting, no way,” said Chairman Steven Neeves.

This vote waives the policy Horry County has that says if a development has more than 100 lots, it must have at least two points of access.

“I just see that the county has just placed greed ahead of public safety,” said Ward.

Horry County has used that policy since 2004.

“I think the planning commission has worked very hard at this,” said Ward. “I’m not going to try to be nasty about them, but I really think they sacrificed our community.”

The developer says they’ve already had discussions to make construction along Sunnehanna Drive efficient, only closing one lane, to take into consideration that people still need to get in and out.

Chairman Steven Neeves, who broke the tie, says he wants to put public safety before adding a second access point to the community.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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