MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Land development work, including digging, in Carolina Forest is getting the attention of some homeowners who live nearby.
"We have no idea what it is," said Jennifer Habib. "We've definitely been wondering. They've been out there for a good couple of months."
Habib lives in The Farm Community off Carolina Forest Boulevard. From her back yard she can see the work happening on property just west of her community.
Talk of a possible sand mind in another area of Carolina Forest has many homeowners like Habib watching every development closely these days.
"The more they dug, the more we wondered what they were doing," Habib said. "If they were just digging a pond you'd think they'd be done by now."
Horry County's planning and zoning director said concerns about development have been growing in the area. She said when Carolina Forest growth started more than a decade ago people expected land clearing and digging, but that's changed.
"Now they are concerned when they see things going on that maybe they haven't seen before because they weren't there in the beginning," Carter said.
The concerns about a sand mine in Carolina Forest arose in April when Southern Asphalt applied for a sand mine permit. The company later withdrew that application because of concern from the community.
Carter said Southern Asphalt followed a common method of land development by asking for permission to dig a hole first. She said the method is often used to allow developers more time to decide on a specific plan for property.
The sand mine permit got extra attention in Carolina Forest she said because most developers in that area follow a different method. She said most residential developers there have their plan complete, so they ask for a residential rezoning first. That rezoning then allows them to clear land and dig holes for ponds or lakes as necessary without getting a separate sand mine permit for digging.
Regardless of the method, Carter said digging is a normal part of residential development.
"We see detention ponds that are required for storm water purposes in every subdivision," she said. "Then there's also subdivisions that want to have ponds or lakes for amenity areas."
The large pit being dug beside The Farm is for a new residential community called Grey Plantation. Some homeowners like John Goldschmidt said they always assumed the work was for new homes.
"Honestly I just figured it was another development being developed," Goldschmidt said.
As Habib learns more about what is going on behind her house, she said she worries less about what is being developed and more about how it is being developed.
"We don't want to lose our trees," she said. "So how far are they going to come back? They've taken a lot of the trees already out."