A plan for the future: Imagine 2040 plan to go before Horry County Council next week

Horry County Imagine 2040 strategic plan update

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - After nearly two years of collaboration and strategic planning, the Imagine 2040 Comprehensive Plan will go before Horry County Council for final approval on Tuesday.

Bo Ives, who’s lived in Horry County for nearly 20 years, worked alongside hundreds of residents to put together the plan that will help county leaders make decisions on a various amount of topics for the next two decades.

Similar plans were developed in 1999 and in 2005, which laid out the county’s vision leading up to 2020 and 2025.

One of the biggest challenges for the county in the early 1990s was keeping up with the rapid growth in population, something that’s still an issue today.

Map of Horry County from December 1999
Map of Horry County from December 1999 (Source: Google Earth)
Map of Horry County from December 2016
Map of Horry County from December 2016 (Source: Google Earth)

Ives said heading into 2040, the county is expected to increase by 230,000 residents, putting the total population around 584,000. With so much growth, development is inevitable.

However, with very little room left to develop east of the waterway, the county will start to look westward.

Ives said the Imagine 2040 plan will help give county leaders a better understanding of comprehensive impacts on the county, not just one area of development.

”You want to be respectful to everyone who came from here and grew up here, but while accommodating the people that want to join this area,” said Ives.

Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught said the plan is open to interpretation and can always be changed over time.

”We will look at that as a living document,” said Vaught.

In 1999, Horry County had a good idea of what the population would be in 2020. However, development fell behind after the housing crisis in 2007. Since then the county has been trying to catch up with the growth of the county.

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