HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The population in Horry County is expected to nearly double by the year 2040, with about 275,000 more people expected to move to the area, according to Imagine 2040.
Horry County Interim Planning Director David Schwerd said that projection is based on the state’s population estimates for Horry County.
“We know we’re busy,” Schwerd said. “We know we’ve been a hot place to grow.”
Schwerd said his department works hard to make sure they’re keeping the quality of life of the current residents in mind, while balancing that with the quality of life of the residents planning to move in.
According to the Imagine 2040 plan, 116,160 more housing units will be needed to accommodate that projected growth but some homeowners have argued the county is already cluttered with new homes and developments.
“There is a lot of room and one of the things we’ve got to continue to focus on, and Imagine 2040 does that, is continue to identify those areas most suitable for development," said Schwerd.
He said the plan aims to place development where existing roads and infrastructure already is, making it cheaper for structures to go up.
“We’re trying to make sure that as we continue to try to encourage growth or in-fill in those areas, we don’t reduce the quality of life," said Schwerd. “Now that may not mean that the woods that are next to you are always going to remain woods or that the golf course that was there will always remain a golf course.”
Imagine 2040 also said developments under construction right now and those already approved in the unincorporated areas will only account for 45 percent of the projected population growth in the entire county.
“Some of that growth is going to be within the city limits an we try to encourage as much development within the city. One of the goals within imagine 2040 is to try to encourage those developments that would be surrounding the cities to locate within the city jurisdictions as opposed to the unincorporated county," said Schwerd.
Imagine 2040 will be presented at the infrastructure and regulation committee in March and once a recommendation is made, from there it will go to County Council.