New neighborhood proposed for Carolina Forest

New neighborhood proposed for Carolina Forest

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Plans for a new neighborhood in a fast-growing area are in the early stages.  Almost 500 acres are being requested to be re-zoned for mixed residential development to build what is being called an "urban community." That neighborhood is being proposed for Carolina Forest.

This new proposed neighborhood is near the corner of River Oaks Drive at Carolina Forest Boulevard, across from The Farm. In 2011 and 2014, WMBF News reported to you that a park called Revolutionary War General Isaac Huger Park, or Huger Park, was in the works at that location. According to WMBF News, the money hasn't been there to start the project, although the five acres for the park was donated.

Now, the park is being proposed to be integrated into this new development along with soccer fields and an amenity center. The Horry County Planning Commission is getting a look at those development plans Thursday. They are recommended for approval.

The neighborhood is being called The Parks at Carolina Forest. Before the proposal moves to Horry County Council, the planning commission must approve the zoning change to mixed residential development.

Like many other neighborhoods in progress in the area, this would be completed in phases. The first phase totals 99 homes, according to the proposal.

While neighborhood business owners said they support the growth, people who live in the area see more construction as more traffic woes.

Brian Griffiths owns the new lunch spot called Charlie Grainger's on the corner of the Ocean Bay Market, where Lowes Foods is. He opened his restaurant in September. Griffiths said he and his realtor also looked at spaces along Highway 17, but there wasn't much question as to which area was growing faster.

"With the hospital coming in and a growing community, I figured it would be a good spot to be," said Brian Griffiths. He also said business continues to increase, and would expect it to when the new McLeod Health Carolina Forest campus opens.

Tom Goodrich lives in Carolina Forest and has worked in the area since he said the area "was bare except for a stoplight." Goodrich said he wants to know how traffic will be handled with the continued additions.

"Growth is inevitable in this area. And face it, Carolina Forest is the area it's going to happen in because of the proximity to the beach. It's tons of open territory and if somebody bought it they're not going to let it sit for too long," Goodrich said.

Landmark, LLC is the current owner of the land The Parks at Carolina Forest is proposed to be built on. However, the Horry County spokeswoman said she expects the land to be sold to a developer contingent upon the decision of the zoning request.

As with other neighborhoods in the area, this one would be completed in phases based on need.

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