As Highway 707 widening project gets closer, community prepares

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Burgess Community's expansion of Hwy 707 is underway, and the community wants to make sure an official plan is in place to guide all expected growth.

More people, cars and businesses are expected to be drawn to the area as a result of the growth. The overlay begins at Hwy 707 and Dick Pond Rd. and extends all the way to the Georgetown County line.

The Community Association wants to avoid over-development, and keep everything consistent with the overall feel of the area. As a result, strict standards have been put into place as far as lighting, signs, building height, parking and landscape. The standards are supposed to help the area, but some say it can affect business.

The Compass Center has been in the area for years. New owners took it over, and the entire place was redone. Despite the changes, several tenants have come and gone, and now the place is working to get permanent tenants.

The owners have worked with the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation to shop different companies considering moving in, but they say the overlay as it stands now is keeping them from making additions they need to make to attract big companies and jobs in the area.

Now they are working with the county to tweak the overlay.

"To allow for the expansion of the compass center," said Andrea Peterson, who owns the Compass Center. "To bring the jobs to the area, and also meet the needs of the community in the terms of the expansion of the new overlay."

Members of the Burgess community says the rules weren't meant to turn away business, but instead, change it.

"It isn't more red tape," said Al Jordan, with the Burgess Community Association. "It's just what they can do,in some cases- landscaping signage, and parking- is different."

Thursday night there will be a public hearing with the Horry County Planning Department to allow for changes in the overlay with the Compass Center.

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