Cottonpatch subdivision files lawsuit

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A dispute over a big hole looks like it's heading to court.

The owners of the Cottonpatch tract property in the Carolina Forest area have filed suit in Horry County against the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The lawsuit says Cottonpatch Timber and Southern Asphalt are seeking damages from DHEC, for interfering with its plans to build a housing subdivision off Gardner Lacy Road.

DHEC issued a cease and desist letter against the owners in February, saying the group was using the land as a sand mine. DHEC says The companies are performing a "willful" violation of the order, and can be fined one thousand dollars a day for every day they continue digging.

Neighbors say they're frustrated with the giant pit in their backyard and the noise from dump trucks in the area.

"It starts at 7 in the morning, it's often until 9:30 at night which is disturbing to neighbors, particularly when you have young children, as many of our neighbors do," says Doug Pounder who lives near the pit.

Pounder says the project is also kicking up a lot of dust in the Waterford Plantation neighborhood nearby.

"The other big issue is the dust that's being created by this," Pounder says. "Normally we would change or home filters probably every three months, now we're changing them every month because of the sheer amount of dust."

Cottonpatch Timber and Southern Asphalt have requested a jury trial in this case. No word yet on when the trial will happen.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.