Carolina Forest residents are upset, and rightfully so, about a potential sand mine coming to their area.
The business that initially filed the mining request earlier this year said they were moving the mining operation to a more rural area in Marion County, but it appears the mining operation is back as a proposed neighborhood development that would permit the mining under the definition of a lake. I'm sure it is frustrating for the nearby residents to have to deal with this issue and keep up with what appears to be a loophole in the system.
The real problem seems to be the way the county defines mining. In a recent WMBF News interview, Councilman Marion Foxworth said even a swimming pool with a depth of more than 8 feet would be classified as needing a mining permit.
Consider This: How about a common sense approach that could resolve this issue and ongoing concerns with similar filings? Councilman Foxworth, whose district includes portions of Carolina Forest, and the rest of the Horry County Council should revamp the filing process and call a project what it really is.
If you want to build a pool, get a pool permit with certain restrictions, regardless of the depth. If you want to build a pond or lake, get a pond or lake permit, again with restrictions for that specific use. If you want to dredge or mine, get a permit that defines that activity. This would resolve a lot of the confusion and also eliminate any loopholes that exist in the current structure.
It is understandable that residents would be upset when someone files a mining permit, so changing the wording to properly reflect the true intent of the activity seems like a logical solution and would eliminate a lot of the unnecessary worry and concerns. Horry County Council should have the Horry County planning commission review the current guidelines and present a plan that would maintain the existing requirements, but properly define the project.
If changes are not made, these mining issues will continue to surface, especially when the economy fully rebounds and construction picks up.