Officials working on changes that could speed up subdivisions coming to the area

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Some consider it a strange sight-- In an economy struggling to make a comeback, subdivisions are popping up all over the Grand Strand, especially near the Market Common area.

City officials are working on some changes that could affect development in the Grand Strand. Planning Officials are working on a proposed 3 step plan that would speed up the process for developers to make their mark on the city's land.

Just as developers are clearing the land to build up new subdivisions in Myrtle Beach, members of the planning commission want to clear up the process for new ones to come in. They want to streamline all the applications, which determines where developments can go and how it will fit in. With this new review process, developers and the city will know exactly what they're getting into up front.

Officials haven't changed this process in 30 years, and with all the new subdivisions under construction, they say it's time to bring it up to speed. "It's important because as we grow as a city and as our infrastructure grows, we're constantly getting different challenges," said Allison Hardin with the Myrtle Beach Planning Department. "So we need to reevaluate how we're doing things to make sure we're doing it in the most efficient way." The Planning Commission is looking over these regulations, and then city council will have to approve all changes.

But with the empty lots in the Grand Strand right now, will these new developments affect your property value? Some people are scratching their heads -- trying to figure out why and how new subdivisions are even viable right now. New homes popped up in the Market Common over the past couple of months, and more are on the way.

Realtors say it's because land is considerably cheaper, as prices for lots have dropped as much as 80 percent. So you can see why developers feel it's a deal too good to pass up. They're saying it's just the right time to build, as trends are showing we're on the cusp of a comeback.

The number of sales are going up in the Grand Strand and the prices are staying level. They're hoping these homes will be ready just as the market is ready to get back to normal. But when it comes to you selling your home, the future may not be as promising.

These new homes could mean new trouble for you if and when you try to put up that "For Sale" sign. "Obviously if a whole lot of supply comes on the market it could affect the price dramatically," said Craig Dierksheide, a Myrtle Beach realtor. "And of course people like buying new houses. If you can get the stainless steel appliances and the granite countertops and some of the extras people like these days versus a new house it might favor the new home a little bit more."

Single family residential homes are the main target for developers right now. Those homes are doing pretty well in the Grand Strand overall. The latest reports show that sales are at the highest since 2007.

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