Developer proposes 100 homes on Hurricane Florence flooding site in Horry County

Thomas Road among rezoning proposals in Horry County

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Construction may be in the future for several large areas of land in Horry County.

The planning commission met Thursday afternoon to go over proposals to rezone 12 different properties.

The Horry County Planning Commission is considering a proposal to rezone an 81-acre property on Thomas Road in Conway from agriculture to residential. The only problem is that a substantial amount of the area flooded during Hurricane Florence.

“This project is familiar to some of the planning commission members,” said Horry County Planning and Zoning Department Head David Schwerd. “It was previously submitted and withdrawn.”

The Horry County Planning Commission has seen several proposals over the last few years to develop property on Thomas Road near Highway 90.

The current proposal is to build 100 single-family units on the property.

“Our staff does have concerns because this area is adjacent to the area that was inundated during Florence,” said Schwerd.

Not only will the property include the 100 houses, but it's set to include open space, sidewalks and community gardens.

Horry County’s staff of engineers and planners recommended that the commission require the developer to elevate the road at least 20 feet so it’s safe in case of flooding.

The developer is confident they’ll be able to build safely despite the flood risk.

“We’re going to be four feet above the 100-year base flood. We can do that without doing a whole bunch more to fill,” said Venture Engineering President Steve Powell. “Even in another Hurricane Florence, God forbid, we will not have a problem with ingress and egress going in to phase 2.”

One planning commissioner even jokingly asked the developer if he was trying to bang a round peg into a square hole by taking this project on.

The commission will vote on the rezoning at their regular meeting next Thursday, Aug. 6.

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