Proposed development could bring nearly 4,000 homes to Burgess community

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 10:43 AM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - St. James High School could be in for some company along Highway 707.

A proposal to build nearly 4,000 homes and apartments could lead to a population boom in the area.

“This is a huge project,” said Jody Prince, Horry County Planning Commissioner.”As big as we see.”

The scope of the project surrounds 700 acres with nearly 4,000 units accommodating approximately 10,000 people.

One project could have the potential to increase the Burgess Community’s population by 30%, but it won’t happen overnight.

“It can be a very different community with a lot of different products,” said planning director David Jordan. “The build out plan is at least a decade.”

Those “products” would include a mix of commercial space, apartments, rental cottages, single-family homes and an active adult community.

The area would need to be rezoned first, and the district’s planning commissioner already has some concerns about crowding in schools in the area.

A graph shows the population percentages at several St. James area schools. Any school over 95%...
A graph shows the population percentages at several St. James area schools. Any school over 95% is considered in the "red zone."(Horry County Planning Commission)

“Of the six schools in the St. James school district, four of them are in the red zone,” said planning commissioner Pamela Dawson. “I think that’s something the school board will need to be prepared to address.”

The developer has plans to meet with the school district next week to work out a way to fit all the extra students the project could bring.

He also already met with the Burgess Executive Committee and agreed to connect the property to the Burgess trail system.

Ultimately, with some changes to the plan, Dawson feels this is an area that could stand to see some development.

“I do believe, in theory, that the PDD (Proposed Development District) rezoning request is appropriate for this track,” said Dawson.

The planning commission will open the floor next week for community members to voice their opinions on this.

That meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 2, at the Horry County Government and Justice Center in Conway.

Then, the week after, there will be a community meeting where the architect will go over the plans with community members.

It will be at 4 p.m. on Dec. 8 at the South Strand Recreation Center.

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