Tag: Planning Commission

Good or Bad Development on Four Mile Road?

Horry County Council faces an interesting conundrum Tuesday night when it considers second reading of Ordinance 113-19, which is a request for rezoning a parcel of approximately 129 acres on Four Mile Road.

The rezoning requests a change from the current zoning of Commercial Forest Agriculture (CFA) on the parcel to SF10 (minimum lot size of 10,000 sq. ft.) for 202 single family detached homes.

The land is located near the Conway end of the Highway 319 Area Plan which was established in 2011 to limit the impact of residential development and maintain the rural character of the area.

The 319 Area Plan calls for minimum lot size of 20,000 sq. ft. for single family homes. The request was recommended for disapproval by the Horry County Planning staff but recommended for approval by the county Planning Commission by a 5-4 vote.

Some residents in the area expressed concerns about lot size, potential stormwater runoff and increased traffic from the proposed development. The residents were upset that the minimum lot size they expected for single family homes in the area plan was twice the size being requested by the developer. They felt the 319 Area Plan minimums should be adhered to.

In a perfect world the residents demanding adherence to 20,000 sq. ft. minimum lot size would probably win their point. However, zoning and development within Horry County is far from a perfect world.

The current CFA zoning would allow the developer to build three units per gross acre of multi-family housing with no approval needed from county council to proceed. The residents opposing the rezoning that I spoke with after one planning commission meeting were unaware of this provision in CFA zoning.

The developer stated in several meetings with the residents and planning staff that he was prepared to go forward with multi-family housing if the request for rezoning for single family homes was voted down, in order to protect his investment in the property.

Therefore, in opposing the rezoning because the requested lot size is only one-half of that in the 319 Area Plan, the residents in the area would see as many as 387 units of multi-family housing built on the parcel instead of 202 single family homes.

Tilly Swamp Rezoning Moves Back to Council with Disapproval Recommendation

The Horry County Planning Commission voted 4-3 last week to recommend disapproval of a proposal to rezone nearly 900 acres in the Tilly Swamp for residential development.

The Planning Commission joined the county’s planning staff in recommending disapproval of the rezoning.

A portion of the acreage is already zoned SF 10. The request is to rezone that portion and the portion currently zoned commercial forest agriculture to SF 7, a change that would allow a higher density of homes to be built on the properties allowing developers to make more money.

Residents showed up in force to express disapproval for the proposed rezoning. They expressed concerns about lack of infrastructure, police and fire services the area already experiences. An expansion of nearly 1,500 new homes would only exacerbate those problems.

The citizens’ comments were a factor in the disapproval. Another factor is the rezoning request runs counter to the county’s current comprehensive plan and the updated comprehensive plan in the process of being approved. Both plans list the area being considered for rezoning as ‘scenic and conservation.’

A county comprehensive plan is a requirement of state law. It must be updated every 10 years. The county is currently completing that update.

The comprehensive plan goes through a process of consultation with the planning staff, research into current conditions and public input, all of which is used to develop needs, goals and implementation strategies. The plan is then presented to the Planning Commission with another 30-day window for public input before it is completed.

It is sent to county council with a resolution for approval adopted by the Planning Commission. At the council level it is adopted by a three reading county ordinance making it county law.

The portion of the area in question already zoned for residential was rezoned prior to enactment of the current comprehensive plan.

Proposed Tilly Swamp Rezoning Raises Questions

A rezoning request in the Tilly Swamp community is raising questions about how Horry County officials approve development.

The rezoning request received first reading approval from Horry County Council at its last regular meeting before being sent to the Planning Commission and Infrastructure and Regulation Committee.

The request is from Bear Claw Associates, Bear Paw Associates and Bear Bone to allow for more houses to be built on two currently undeveloped lots owned by the named LLC’s. The request is to reduce lot size from SF 10 to SF 7 on previously rezoned land and to change zoning from Commercial Forest Agriculture (CFA) to SF 7 on land not included in the previous rezoning.

If the request is approved, approximately 1,500 new homes will be built in what is considered an environmentally sensitive area of Horry County, with the larger of the two lots adjacent on three sides to the Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve.

The lots in question are in an area designated as scenic and conservation in the current Horry County Comprehensive Plan Envision 2025 and the proposed new comprehensive plan Imagine 2040.

According to S.C. Secretary of State records, the registered agent for the LLC’s is Keith Hinson owner of Waccamaw Land and Timber with the 4705 Oleander Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC address of Waccamaw Land and Timber as the registered address of the LLC’s. Hinson is a longtime friend, associate and business partner of outgoing Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus.

According to longtime residents of the area near the requested rezoning, access to the proposed rezoning was cut off during the flooding from the recent Hurricane Florence. Additionally, the 2009 wildfire in the area burned 2,000 acres of the Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve and threatened the land being considered for rezoning.

Fire and EMS services are listed as 3.99 miles away on the county Planning staff rezoning review sheet, but that appears to be inaccurate. The old Nixonville firehouse on Hwy 90 has always been a volunteer staffed unit with few, if any, volunteers left. Information provided to GSD said the building is currently used only for storage.

The closest fire stations for response to the proposed rezoning area now appear to be either Lees Landing or Wampee, both of which are approximately seven or more miles distant.