By Paul Gable
The rezoning for the Bear properties in the Tilly Swamp area failed to get second reading approval of the rezoning ordinance at the regular November 13, 2018 meeting of Horry County Council, but the issue is not decided yet.
The rezoning failed by a 6-5 vote of council. After the vote, council immediately took a break. According to sources who spoke with Grand Strand Daily on the condition of anonymity, council member Paul Prince, one of the 6 ‘No’ votes, spoke with several council members from the ‘Yes’ side during the break.
When council reconvened, Prince announced he was “confused” during the rezoning vote and moved for reconsideration. After receiving a second to the motion, the five remaining ‘No’ voting council members walked from the dais and left the council chambers leaving only six council members in the meeting at that time.
Council chairman Mark Lazarus has a conflict of interest on the issue and recused himself from the vote which includes leaving the council chambers during any discussion and/or vote on the rezoning ordinance.
Six members of council is not a quorum for conducting business, therefore no reconsideration vote of the rezoning ordinance could be taken.
The main issues of concern with the rezoning are lack of sufficient infrastructure to support nearly 1,500 new homes in the Tilly Swamp area as well as lack of sufficient police, fire and EMS services in the location.
Those issues were addressed by spokespersons for the approximately 250 members of the public who were present in council chambers demonstrating opposition to the rezoning ordinance. Those issues will not go away in the short term.
A vote on an ordinance can be reconsidered before the minutes of the meeting at which the original vote took place are approved by council. Those minutes will not be considered for approval until the December 18, 2018 regular meeting of council.
However, Grand Strand Daily has learned that if Prince attempts to introduce reconsideration of second reading of the rezoning ordinance, the five council members who walked out on the last reconsideration, Harold Worley, Danny Hardee, Dennis DiSabato, Tyler Servant and Johnny Vaught will again leave council chambers so a reconsideration vote on the rezoning ordinance cannot be taken.
The five ‘walk out’ council members demonstrate they are listening to the concerns of Horry County citizens about uncontrolled development. The council members who choose to attempt to get a reconsideration vote remain in the sway of developers at the expense of citizens.
As things now stand in Horry County, all citizens have to pay for the costs and effects of new development. While this condition remains, council members who continue to cast a ‘deaf ear’ to the concerns of citizens and continue to side with the interests of developers are continuing to ignore quality of life issues important to their constituents.