Horry Co. batch plant ordinance clears second hurdle

Horry County, SC - HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Leaders in Horry County have passed the second reading of an ordinance that would permit construction companies to operate at night.

Lisa Bourcier, spokeswoman for Horry County, said the Horry County Council re-evaluated the ordinance during a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday. The ordinance would allow certain operations to acquire a special events permit to operate at night.

Without the permit, county officials said construction and concrete companies would be in violation of a noise ordinance currently enforced in the county.

A number of homeowners have voiced their concerns to leaders on the proposed ordinance, citing the nighttime operations would hamper the quality of life for those who live close to a plant.

"If they could alternate the batch plants so that not one particular one operates all night long, for any length of time, I think it would be beneficial to all [of the] communities," homeowner Dave Downey said.

Horry County Councilman Marion Foxworth said while a number of concrete plants are too close to housing developments, others are located in undeveloped areas across the county. Foxworth suggests those plants could operate at night without bothering its neighbors.

"The problem is how do you craft an ordinance at this date that allows for the operation of those plants and still maintain the quality of life for the folks living in the areas where batch plants are in close proximity to their homes," Foxworth said.

Council members, however, claim the ordinance would help trim down on traffic in heavily-traveled construction zones, and a number of drivers agree.

"I personally think [construction] at night would be better," Stephen Cooksey, who lives near US-17, said. "I think the construction will cause the back-up to be worse than it already is."

Members of the Horry County Council are scheduled to discuss any changes to the ordinance at the next Horry County Public Safety Committee meeting on Aug. 23.

The third and final reading on the ordinance will take place during a regularly scheduled Horry County Council meeting on Sept. 21.

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