25,000+ jobs at risk if a judge rules to temporarily stop new construction in Horry County

25,000+ jobs at risk if a judge rules to temporarily stop new construction in Horry County

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – There’s a chance that new construction in Horry County could soon be halted, which could put 25,000 jobs at stake.

A court document shows that a judge will rule the week of October 14 on a motion that asks for a temporary injunction on new construction.

Timothy Irving filed the motion back in August. It lists Horry County Council and Horry County Planning Commission as defendants in the case.

The temporary injunction could have a far-reaching impact on the real estate industry which employs thousands of people in Horry County.

A study released in September by South Carolina Realtors Association says Horry County is receiving around $4.1 billion a year from the housing industry. It shows that 25,892 people are employed in the county receiving more than $755 million in wages combined.

This places Horry County in third place.

Charleston is number one in the study bringing in $7 billion a year and supplying 40,342 jobs with $1.7 billion in wages. Greenville is second in the study bringing in $5.9 billion and provides 35,779 jobs with $1.4 billion in wages.

Steve Powell is the president of Venture Engineering, he says said if new development was to literally stop, it would affect far more than the developer’s companies.

“Construction companies with millions and millions of dollars worth of equipment wouldn’t be able to make payments anymore. They would go under. Banks that employ loan officers, they wouldn’t have loans because of the developers and people wouldn’t be buying homes. So you would have losses in every sector and when that happens, grocery stores are going to fail. There’s no section of the Horry County, Grand Strand economy that wouldn’t be affected by this," Powell said.

This motion comes after a petition which started last December, was signed by more than 900 people asking the county to put a temporary halt on new development.

The temporary injunction asks the Horry County Planning Board to “cease activities that would permit and allow the new construction and/or development of any and all structures for common living space, multiunit living, and commercial parcels.”

It states that residents of Longs, Socastee, Bucksport, and Myrtle Beach have suffered a loss of property, due to floodwaters, lack of sufficient watershed and sewage infrastructure and poor planning and zoning on behalf of Horry County Planning Commission.

The motion states that poor planning and failing to use relief funds properly has led to current flooding issues.

Powell says the floodwaters don’t pick and choose where they go.

“We had 76 inches of water in our downstairs. Pretty catastrophic at our house, we had about 12 feet of water in the road in front of our house," said Powell.

WMBF News asked officials with Horry County to comment on the petition that’s set to go in front of a judge, they said they were not able to but, back in May, they released the following statement saying in part quote:

“We have processes in place to ensure that new development does not increase the chance for flooding and our proposed comprehensive plan outlines areas that are not suitable for development. In addition, we have the strongest stormwater regulations in the state of South Carolina, and all developers must comply with those regulations. We encourage residents to be in touch with us if they have concerns about any particular development.”

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