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Conway leaders move forward with proposal to bring McLeod Health facility to city

Conway City Council unanimously approved a request to rezone over 65 acres from Low Density...
Conway City Council unanimously approved a request to rezone over 65 acres from Low Density Residential to Institutional zoning along El Bethel Road and Dunn Shortcut Road.(Source: City of Conway)
Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 11:13 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – A proposal to bring a McLeod Health facility to Conway made another step forward, but there are some conditions in place before it can get final approval.

Conway City Council unanimously approved a request to rezone over 65 acres from Low-Density Residential to Institutional zoning along El Bethel Road and Dunn Shortcut Road.

The intent of institutional zoning allows “for the development of medical, educational, and higher education facilities in a campus-like setting.”

During a planning commission meeting, Dale Locklair, the senior vice president of planning and facilities management with McLeod Health, indicated that the current plan is to construct a campus for McLeod on the site, but specifics are unknown at this time.

The planning commission brought up a few issues about the hospital system building in the area, including that half of the parcel is identified as Conservation Preservation due to easements and wetlands along the Crabtree Creek tributary that runs across the property.

Locklair said that plans will focus on putting structures in the high ground areas and will not impede the wetlands or drainage channel.

The planning commission was also concerned that half of the property is in or near a flood zone but determined that the site is still viable for many of the uses allowed in the Institutional District.

“It will benefit from the Conway Perimeter Road connection with El Bethel Rd, and Conway has a need for more medical-based uses in the community. One of the neighboring sites is being held by Horry County Schools for a new school site, and there is an opportunity for this project and the school to create one large, shared entrance that would streamline traffic access in the area,” documents show from the city council packet.

Staff recommended that Conway city councilmembers pass the first reading, but stated that McLeod Health must address a few things before the final reading. The applicants for the rezoning must address potential connections between the site and the city’s trails and greenways in order to create more walking space and must provide sketches showing where curb cuts onto El Bethel Road can be shared with neighboring properties.

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