Traffic hurdles to jump for Market Common neighborhood

Traffic hurdles to jump for Market Common neighborhood

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A project months in the re-design stage is heading back in front of Myrtle Beach City Council Tuesday, Dec. 20.  Over the summer, a neighborhood for 600 homes was proposed near Fred Nash Blvd.  Current land and traffic issues in the area sparked more interest in what will become of the project.

The neighborhood is called Arbor Glenn Village and is now proposed as a maximum 548-home neighborhood.  The ordinance states the homes would be built over a maximum ten year span in three different tracts.  Currently, the 152 acres between Fred Nash Blvd. and Emory Rd. is zoned as industrial.  The developer, Market Village LLC, is requesting to re-zone as a Planned Unit Development, known as a PUD, for Arbor Glenn Village.

The second reading for re-zoning is happening Tuesday.  The project was put on hold in the summer in part because of traffic issues, one issue officials hoped would be resolved with the passing of Ride III.

People voiced concern over the lack of entrances and exits in to the proposed neighborhood, as well as increased traffic on Fred Nash Blvd.  Now, with Ride III's passing, city officials said they hope Harrelson Blvd. can be connected to Old Socastee Highway (which Fred Nash Blvd. turns in to) sooner rather than later.  Myrtle Beach planning director Carol Coleman said the city also needs to work to re-open Howard Ave., near Airpark Dr. This would have to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration because of it's proximity to the airport.  The road needs to be repaved.

Coleman said the city completed a traffic study for the Fred Nash Blvd. and Emory Rd. area.  The study showed less traffic in the area with the re-zoning of the property to a PUD.  There are also some vegetation and landscaping issues presented in the ordinance.

However, Coleman said another issue is speed.  Emory Rd. is part of the many 'donut holes' in Myrtle Beach.  This means the road belongs to the county, although surrounded by city property.  Donut holes like this one are harder for police to patrol, since it's the county's responsibility.  She said she's working with the county to possibly annex the road into Myrtle Beach.

Arbor Glenn Village is one of several developments in the works in Market Common.  However, Coleman said Arbor Glenn will hopefully incorporate Linear Park, an extension of Grand Park at Market Common.  She said the developers have to work around a drainage canal that flows through the 152 acres.  To do so, planners hope to extend walking and biking paths from Linear Park into the neighborhood, along the canal.

Coleman said the key for this neighborhood is the interconnection of the road systems around it.  She said opening Howard Ave. would also bring more people to the ITAP area, and maybe jump start some sort of development there.

If the ordinance passes council today, developers would have to bring neighborhood designs to the planning committee.  Coleman said groundbreaking won't start until late 2017 at the latest.

Area businesses, like Joe's Diner by the Airport, said more growth means more business.  The owner of the restaurant told WMBF News the traffic issues need to be resolved before the neighborhood moves forward.

Read a previous story here.

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.