A proposed development in Murrells Inlet raises concerns for local residents

A proposed development in Murrells Inlet raises concerns for local residents

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Many in Murrells Inlet are concerned about traffic issues that would result from a proposed 60 unit apartment complex by a real estate developer.

The five acre, heavily wooded area is located between Murrells Inlet Road and U.S. 17 Bypass, south of Macklen Avenue.

Councilman John Thomas says the property is owned by Belin Trust, which is a separate entity from the Belin Church located just down the road. Thomas says they filled out an application for the 5-acre complex. The proposal is set to go before the planning commission next week for a site review.
From there the planning commission will look into factors such as site-access, storm water run-off, buffer areas, and whether the development meets all the county regulations. Councilman Thomas says he's already getting feedback from the public on the proposal.

"A primary concern that I have seen is the site would exit onto Murrells Inlet road and I share that concern. That would be extra traffic on the road that doesn't need the extra traffic. The site.. the applicant design shows the property access via Hwy 17 bypass and not Murrells Inlet road. So, I think that may allay some of the concerns about traffic in the area," said Councilman John Thomas.

Thomas also talked about his stance on density in the area.

“I try to limit any increase in density in the Murrells Inlet area that I represent.. and development is something we need to manage very carefully because Horry County is just exploding with people and were trying to manage development in Georgetown County,” said Thomas.

Richard Cannon, board member of the Crystal Oaks Association, is just one of the many residents concerned about this newly proposed 60-unit apartment complex. "We are a single-family development housing here. We just don't want to see a huge housing development here go up that will commit to more traffic," said Cannon.

Residents say they feel this development just doesn't fit within the community. If this development is approved, it will be the first 3 story apartment complex in the Murrells Inlet area, east of the bypass.

"It's a concern for myself, my family, the community, and the residents of Murrells Inlet and neighbors around. for the reason that it's not compatible with the existing development with single-family homes around it," said Robert Powers, Crystal Oaks Community Resident.

The site will require a buffer area to keep from intruding on backyards.  However, members of the community are still worried about how close this site is to their homes.

"Although many people seem to be unaware of this, it seems like people are uninformed on what is going to happen and that there's nothing that we can do to stop this project from happening," said Powers.

There is a Change Dot Org petition online named "Stop Unit 60". It cites concerns for privacy and noise. The petition has already had over 250 signatures just this past weekend.

If you want to learn more or if you have concerns of your own, County leaders are hosting a public meeting Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. at the Murrells Inlet Community Center. The County Planning Commission hearing will be on February 15th.

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