Residents to speak out on proposed shopping plaza

Horry County, SC - HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Residents living near Palmetto Pointe Boulevard will have a chance to have their voices heard Tuesday concerning a proposed development project along the roadway.

Members of the Horry County Council have planned a second reading for a rezoning request to develop a 12,500 square foot shopping plaza along the boulevard. The agenda item also calls for unadvertised public comment.

The development request proposed by Venture Engineering includes plans for a convenience store, laundromat, gas pumps and a restaurant. In addition to the retail center, the proposed plans call for road improvements that would allow for traffic to flow in and out of the complex.

Despite the possibility of extra retail space near Palmetto Pointe, several neighbors have raised concerns that it could hurt property values and cause additional traffic congestion.

"I just don't want a lot more traffic on this road," Jonathan Lewis said. "The road is little, there's people walking on it. You start bringing people in here [and that] creates danger."

Other neighbors, however, say they are not surprised by the proposal and right now have no plans to fight it.

"If you know you're moving towards a main road, you know it's going to be busy," Amy DeFeo said. "If you're moving to an empty lot something is going to go up, something is going to be built."

"When we moved here a year ago we knew there was going to be some sort of building," her husband James echoed. "People own the land, they have the right to build whatever they want. The gas station I think is a great idea."

One thing neighbors seem to agree on is the need to widen the roadway before the shopping plaza is built.

"If they put four lanes up there, make it a bigger road and sidewalks and all that stuff I'll be all for it," Lewis said.  "Until then, no. I don't want to see it down here."

"You have to accommodate," Amy DeFeo agreed. "If you're going to bring something to bring more people, you're going to have to widen the roads first."

Horry County Councilman Bob Grabowski contends the plans have the potential to help the area by giving residents close access to gas and convenience store items.

Grabowski said he has reviewed the plans from Venture Engineering and confirmed the blueprints are compliant with county code.

The second reading will take place during the Horry County Council's regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Horry CountyGovernment and Justice Center in Conway.

The request to develop the shopping plaza must pass three readings by the Horry County Council to move forward.

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