Nearly 600 new homes in the works for either side of Highway 501

Nearly 600 new homes in the works for either side of Highway 501

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Hundreds of new homes may soon surround either side of Highway 501 in Myrtle Beach.

Planning leaders heard proposals for two large developments during a work session Thursday afternoon.

More than 300 acres of woods, lakes and wetlands in the corner of Highways 501 and 31 could soon see nearly 300 new homes.

The proposed development found its way onto the Horry County Planning Commission’s agenda to be rezoned.

“It is scenic and conservation, and that is because there is a significant amount of wetlands and flood zone located on the back half of this property,” said David Schwerd, head of the Horry County Planning Department.

The 277 homes would include 214 single-family homes and 63 townhomes.

It really wouldn’t take up that much of the 300 acres due to so much of it being wetlands.

“There is the back half of these townhouses and some of the single-family that are within the area of the 500-year flood zone and some within the 100-year flood zone,” said Schwerd.

Eighty units are listed within the 500-year flood zone and 60 are listed within the 100-year flood zone.

“That’s a concern to me considering within the last 20 years, we’ve had 10 major flood events,” said Pam Cecala, Horry County Planning Commission District 2 Representative.

The developer isn’t too concerned.

“The area in question generally is above the elevation of predicted floods, which is represented by the fact we don’t believe any of that was inundated during [Hurricane] Florence,” said Walter Warren, who spoke on behalf of the property during the work session.

Cecala also brought up concerns over the capacity of the zoned schools.

”River Oaks Elementary is at 129% capacity currently, Ten Oaks is at 82%, Carolina Forest High at 90%,” said Cecala. “I just wanted to bring that to everybody’s attention.”

“It could be completely filled up with retirees and no children that’s why we can’t take that into consideration,” said Commission Chairman Steven Neeves. “It’s up to the school board to keep up with their situation, not us.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of Highway 501, the commission heard a proposal for 318 new homes behind the Publix location in Carolina Forest.

The area north of the Postal Way extension would have 167 townhomes, while the area south of it would have 141 “in common houses”

“As you know we’ve got more and more of these projects coming in,” said Schwerd. “It’s a way for people to combine single-family occupancy with higher density development. Give people some of both worlds. Instead of renting an apartment, you can rent a house.”

Both of these projects, which would bring 595 new homes within two miles of each other, will have public hearings next week.

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