HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - People driving through Carolina Forest have to drive to the end of Carolina Forest Boulevard to get to S.C. 31, but that could change.
"There will be an interchange at 31 and that will be access for Carolina Forest residents who want to get onto 31 to go north and south and that will be far easier than going to 501 or International Drive to try to get to 31 and access to other points," said Bo Ives, former president of the Carolina Forest Civic Association.
Ives said concessions were made with a developer of The Parks of Carolina Forest to reserve land for amenities. A rezoning request is up for third reading next week.
"We have people in the planning and zoning department and also the elected leaders have the will to get this dialogue to get us the amenities that we need," he said. "There's so much competition for tax base. Nobody wants to raise taxes unless it's absolutely necessary. The developer gets to build something that he sees he gets to market and we get amenities."
The rezoning application for The Parks of Carolina Forest said the community will include Huger Park, which is a Revolutionary War park, an amenity center and soccer fields.
"I'm excited. The potential is just tremendous," Ives said.
He added land is also being reserved to one day build an interchange at S.C. 31 from Carolina Forest Boulevard and connect the two sides at Augusta Plantation Drive. The proposal was on a planning commission agenda the same day the rezoning request was considered for The Parks at Carolina Forest.
"That will relieve a significant amount of congestion on 501," Ives said.
According to Ives, the new development will also open up access to an area called the Ten Oaks, a park with 10 oak trees in a nearly perfect circle.
Horry County spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said the county would like to connect the Ten Oaks and develop the rest of the site, but there is currently no funding for it.
According to Bourcier, the interchange with access to S.C. 31 was discussed by the RIDE III Sales Tax Commission, but it wasn't selected for the program. She said it's currently an unfunded project with no timeline for construction.
Bourcier said additional park property near the recreation center could be acquired and possibly used for soccer fields, but nothing has been finalized and it is currently unfunded.