‘Letting development fix development’: Horry County Council hopes to enact impact fees to fix infrastructure

Horry County Council hopes to enact impact fees to fix infrastructure

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Horry County leaders are hoping to fix the ongoing imbalance of new development and lack of infrastructure.

Horry County councilmembers want to impose a fee on new homeowners that would raise money to fix infrastructure problems. The fees are called impact fees.

The county council has discussed the issue for years, but they’re just now getting back to the discussion after getting sidelined by COVID-19.

Impact fees would apply to any home built after Horry County Council passes the impact fees.

The homeowners would likely pay the fees through their mortgage.

Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught said the fees are becoming more and more necessary due to the number of new homes that keep getting built.

“We’ve got to start letting development pay for development in some fashion,” Vaught said.

The fees would go toward improving infrastructure.

“We’re not trying to shut down development,” Vaught said. “We’re just basically trying to keep up with it.”

The money would go toward projects like improving roads or fixing flooding issues, but it would only apply to certain areas based on where each home is.

“They have to be tied to the specific development and to a specific location where the impact fees are actually collected,” Vaught said.

That means the money couldn’t be used to fix roads like Highway 501.

April O’Leary, the president of Horry County Rising, the group hoping to make sure county leaders develop smartly, said she is very much in favor of impact fees.

“We believe it’s imperative that they do impact fees,” O’Leary said. “We’ve been advocating for that for two years now.”

Vaught expects county councilmembers to continue their discussion on impact fees in the near future.

“We will be talking about impact fees at that budget retreat,” he said. “And we’ll be making a plan going forward. I suspect that what we’ll do is first off schedule a workshop on it or something like that.”

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