Controversial rezoning plan gets approval, neighbors to keep fighting

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A controversial rezoning proposal cleared a major hurdle Thursday night at the Horry County Planning Commission meeting.  The request, submitted on behalf of Beazer Homes, a national home building company, asks the county to amend more than 45 acres of undeveloped land in the Cameron Village community of Old Bay Rd. to cut the lot size minimums from 10,000 square feet to 7,500, and to trim the widths of lots from 85 feet to 65 feet.

The request would also require that new homes built on these lots have at least an additional 2,000 square feet of space.  Beazer Homes said the request follows changes in the market that have affected the types of homes people are buying.

"In development, especially in a coastal zone, it's very cyclical; it goes with the economy, and when the economy changes, so does the product type," said Mike Wooten with DDC Engineers, a civil engineering firm that helped lay out Beazer Homes' case at the meeting.

One of the top arguments for community members against the plan is that they are worried that changing the lot size requirements and adding more homes might hurt their home value, but Wooten said that is not necessarily the case.

"It would be hard to believe but the smaller the lot, the higher the value of the house lot combination, and even before the economy went bust, the economy is only about 20 percent of the value of the house lot combination, so the size of the lot makes very little difference in the value of the home," added Wooten.

This proposal now heads to county council, and neighbors like Debbie Perkins who live in Cameron Village said they are not giving up the fight.

"We won't stop here," Perkins said. "This is just a recommendation that goes forward, so we keep rallying the troops. We have a large number of people in opposition to this plan, so we keep challenging it."

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