Potential for new development concerns current residents

Potential for new development concerns current residents

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A new development that has the potential to bring 300 new homes to one area has residents there up in arms.

The proposed plan is supposed to bring about 40 of those homes to line the edge of Carolina Lakes Boulevard, which has an outlet to Highway 544. The other 260 homes are planned to stretch to Legends Drive, which connects to Highway 501 and ends just behind the Carolina Lakes development at the Legends Golf Resort.

Residents in the Carolina Lakes development told WMBF News the traffic situation in their community is already bad as it is, and adding more houses will only make that worse.

The proposed plan has already passed the Horry County Planning and Zoning Board, but County Councilman Johnny Vaught, representing District 8, met with the engineers that work with the developer to try and come to a compromise.

Vaught said he and DDC engineers have made an agreement to turn the homes that line Carolina Lakes Boulevard to single-family rather than multi-family. He said it has not yet been decided just how many of those single family homes there will be, but he is working to make the area there less dense.

"We've agreed to a different formula which will basically consist of some number of single family houses and lots," said Vaught. "We haven't decided exactly the number yet. We're going to try to keep the density down."

One neighbor, who has lived in the Carolina Lakes neighborhood for 20 years now, said that seems like a better alternative.

"I would be a lot more in favor than 40 single family homes than we would in 140 apartments because that would really change the situation in here a lot," said Mark Bostick.

However, Carolina Lakes Boulevard is only one side that has opposition. The residents near Legends Drive have also voiced their concerns to county leaders.

Vaught said residents are concerned that if and when the new development is built, Legends Drive, which is already in need of improvements, will only get worse.

The residents in that area want to see the road fixed, but they don't agree with the way the developer wants to pay for it. Vaught said the idea being proposed is that the developer will suggest a special tax district for residents that live in the area of Legends Drive. That way, money from that tax will go towards making road improvements, however, neighbors in the area will be the ones to have the final say on whether that tax will go into effect. They can also choose how long to keep the tax in place.

"The problem that's going to be with the developers getting that to happen in the Legends, as I see it, is there are several different homeowners associations in there," Vaught said. "There's a certain percentage that have to agree to that tax district before we put it on."

Legends Drive is around a two mile stretch of road, and Vaught said that can be a pricey fix, but because the road is private and does not belong to the county, it is the developers' responsibility to fix it.

"The road is not good already," Vaught said. "It's got some pretty bad potholes in it that I'd be afraid to go through."

Vaught said the feedback he has received from the residents that live in the Legends Drive area has been that they don't understand why the developer won't pay for the road. Vaught also said last time he checked, he does not know which way the developer is going to go.

The reading of the first ordinance for this new development will be brought in front of Horry County Council at their next meeting on Aug. 22.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.