Meeting planned to educate residents on controversial development

Myrtle Beach, SC - By Jennifer Grove - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Concerned Carolina Forest residents will be meeting Wednesday night to learn more about a proposed subdivision development that includes the construction of an 11-acre pond.

The land initially came under scrutiny after a contractor applied for a sand mining permit on the land. That permit application was withdrawn, but the property owner has since submitted plans for a subdivision to the Horry County Planning Commission.

As president of the Carolina Forest Civic Association, Tony McDonald has helped the board come up with a list of questions he says the community has been anxious to get answered by the property owner.

"The questions should pretty much encompass everything that the community fears," McDonald said.

He says those fears were initiated when the mining permit was requested leading to a public outcry.

"I think probably it's a situation where people don't quite understand exactly what's being proposed and what will actually take place," County Councilman Marion Foxworth said.

Foxworth says the mining permit is required for any digging deeper than 8 feet.

"To dig that, they needed a mining permit, and that's where the controversy arose before," Foxworth explained.

Even though that the mining application has been withdrawn, the property owner is looking to move forward with plans to build a development that would include an 11-acre pond.

"I would think the folks in Carolina Forest would be happy to hear that what was proposed last time and what is proposed this time are very similar from the owner's point of view,"  Foxworth said.

Foxworth added that similar digging has been done in a number of other area subdivisions, including McDonald's own neighborhood of Plantation Lakes as a way to create more waterfront property. Foxworth says it was the mining terminology that threw up red flags.

"I think everybody formed an image of a mine, much like you might see in West Virginia," McDonald explained. "However, I also sort of envisioned the barefoot pit that you see up off of [Highway] 31; a big, deep hole in the ground."

Foxworth added, "Never in my eight years of being on council have I had a concern on 'mining' on a subdivision in Carolina Forest. And there are quite a few who have done considerably more earthmoving than we're talking about."

McDonald says all he want is to be convinced that the companies intentions are truly to build a housing development in his community.

"I don't really want to oppose a legitimate business opportunity," McDonald explained. "I live in a beautiful community here, I'd like to see even more of them. What I don't want to see is an industrial operation in the middle of these beautiful communities."

The meeting of the Carolina Forest Civic Association will take place at 6 p.m. July 21 at the HTC Community Room on the corner of River Oaks Drive and Carolina Forest Boulevard. Organizers say the meeting will feature presentations by Roger Griggs, owner of The Cotton Patch Timber Company and Marion Foxworth, Horry County Council District 3.

The topic for the speakers will be the development of the former proposed sand mine property near Garner Lacy Rd.

All questions from the membership should be submitted in writing to the board of directors via e-mail, see web site or presented to the board in writing prior to the introduction of the speakers. To maintain decorum all questions posed to the speakers will be by the Board.

The meeting is open to all interested parties.

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