Plans to build a new Grand Strand Humane Society move forward despite concerns about location

The concerns of pet smells and noises like dogs barking were brought up.
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 1:27 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Grand Strand Humane Society may soon have a new place to call home, but first the plans had to be approved by the Horry County Planning Commission on Thursday.

Dozens of residents who live near this proposed location along River Oaks Drive came out to share why they’re not thrilled with the current plans.

The property is nearly 112 acres; however, nearly 95 acres can’t be developed due to a conservation ordinance meaning even the surrounding trees which divide it from the Waterway Plantation Communities off River Oaks Drive cannot be removed.

The Human Society plans to develop roughly 3.5 acres of the land for its new $6 million facility.

Since 2021 the Grand Strand Humane Society has been looking for a permanent home after dealing with overcrowding and a pest infestation at the Myrtle Beach location.

All three people who spoke out against the plans said they all love what the Humane Society does but the proposed location is their biggest concern.

There were several residents who live along River Oaks Drive who say they’d rather see a Humane Society than more houses and don’t believe the project would impact the surrounding property value.

The concerns of pet smells and noises like dogs barking were also brought up.

Grand Strand Humane Society President, Jessica Wnuk says a lot of planning has gone into this project and the organization plans to do whatever it can to be good neighbors.

Rob Wilfong with Development Resource Group is the lead developer of the project and assured the planning commission the new facility will be far back from the road and no less than 750 feet away from any of the surrounding homes.

“I’ve driven up to this site and you can’t see what’s back there I also think it’s a good-looking building and I don’t think it’s going to detract from anything,” says Wilfong.

After nearly 30 minutes of discussion, the Horry County Planning Commission chose to recommend the approval of the plans which will now head to Horry County Council.

Two members of the planning commission voted against recommending approval.

Once these plans officially go before Horry County Council later this year it will need to go through three readings before it is officially approved or declined.

We did try to speak with Grand Strand Humane Society President Jessica Wnuk about the planning commission recommending approval; however, she chose not to comment.

The Grand Strand Humane Society is holding a fundraiser to help build its new facility and currently has about $2 million raised.