Protesters continue to push for paving of International Drive - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Protesters continue to push for paving of International Drive

People protest on a sidewalk in Georgetown Wednesday (Source: Amy Lipman) People protest on a sidewalk in Georgetown Wednesday (Source: Amy Lipman)

GEORGETOWN, SC (WMBF) - People living in Horry County along Highway 90 have protested before in an effort to get International Drive paved, but Wednesday was the first time they've done so knowing an order from a judge also supports the issuance of permits to make the road passable.

“When we first heard the judge’s decision, of course, we were delighted with his decision,” said Felicia Soto. “Then, we had to come down to reality.”

About 20 people marched and chanted outside the Coastal Conservation League office in Georgetown Wednesday morning, nearly one week after the South Carolina Environmental Law Project filed a motion for the judge to reconsider his ruling in favor of the permits to pave International Drive.

“We’re here for the safety of our neighbors and our friends who live along that corridor,” said Bob Temple. “And it’s only going to get worse because development only continues to grow along that way.”

Nancy Cave, of the Coastal Conservation League, said the judge's decision was expected because he doesn't generally rule in favor of environmentalists.

However, she said the group filed the motion to reconsider because they want the judge’s specific opinions on water quality and the coastal zone management program.

“Lewis Ocean Bay is one of the very special ecological places, even on the whole East Coast,” said Cave.

Cave said the Coastal Conservation League offered to talk with Horry County to reach an agreement about the road, but she said the group hasn’t received a response about that.

She said she thinks protesters should contact their county leaders.

“Let’s negotiate a settlement that is a balance to both sides,” Cave said. “I think that would be more productive, but I certainly am not opposed to them protesting.”

Protesters said they want the constant delays to end.

“We vowed then and we vowed now that we will continue this fight until that road is paved,” Soto said.

The motion to reconsider was filed last Thursday and Horry County is now in a ten-day period to submit its own opposing materials, according to the clerk at the Administrative Law Court. The judge will then look at the motion. If he doesn't address it in 30 days, it's considered denied. 

If the judge decides not to reconsider the case, Coastal Conservation League can still take it to the South Carolina Court of Appeals.

Cave said they're taking the process step by step, so they haven't decided yet on the appeals process.

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