Housing, less commercial building proposed for Barefoot Resort Town Center in North Myrtle Beach

jfrost@thesunnews.comOctober 29, 2012 

  • More information If you go What | North Myrtle Beach Planning Commission meeting When | 5 p.m. Tuesday Where| Council Chambers at City Hall, 1018 Second Ave. S.

The property owners of 64 acres at Barefoot Resort in North Myrtle Beach want to replace a portion of a planned commercial town center with single-family homes and townhouses.

Their proposal reduces the commercial space to 36.24 acres, with plans to develop the remaining 27.86 into residential. Some Barefoot Resort residents said they are not happy about the possibility of shrinking commercial space for additional houses.

If all goes as planned, The Retreat at Barefoot Village would include 81 single-family houses and 50 three-bedroom townhomes on nearly 28 acres. The remaining acres would be a commercial center, to include shops, restaurants, convenience goods and an outdoor entertainment lawn.

Property owner Roger Grigg of Leonard, Grigg & Associates, LLC, is asking the city to allow the changes to the town center, which was last approved in 2007 for retail, restaurants, office space and residential units.

The property owner is asking for the changes because there are not enough nearby residents to support a larger commercial area, city spokesman Pat Dowling said. There is a market for the type of homes they want to build, Dowling said. Also, Barefoot residents were surveyed about the commercial needs.

The rezoning request for the town center will go before the city’s Planning Commission on Tuesday.

Although some residents are not totally against the changes because they’ve been wanting to get the town center built for a while, they want more commercial space than the 36.24 acres left for future mixed-use commercial development, said Dave Jenkins, president of the Barefoot Resort Residential Association.

“Current residents want more commercial,” Jenkins said. “They’ve been waiting for this town center for a while. There’s a lot less commercial than people were led to believe.”

Jenkins said he is going to recommend to the planning commission that it seeks an expansion of the commercial aspect of the town center.

The planning commission could recommend approval or denial of the proposed changes to the City Council, which would take two required votes on the proposal.

“I understand because of the market and economy that you’re going to have to scale back,” Jenkins said. “But I think what they proposed is too small for commercial. We don’t want for the additional housing to add to traffic woes and crowding and amenities.”

Any residents of The Retreat at Barefoot Village would not be part of the residential association , which means they would not pay dues to the association nor have access to the residents’ clubhouse, amenities and possibly the beach cabana, officials said. Jenkins said the residential association board was split on whether to allow residents of the proposed residential community to use the beach cabana during a meeting Thursday about the planned development. Residents said they don’t want that and the board likely would be against it, Jenkins said. But those residents would have access to a swimming pool at the North Tower in Barefoot Resort, officials said.

As the Barefoot community is growing, the town center would “round out the community and make it more of an attraction,” Jenkins said.

The original layout of the town center was approved in late 1999 and changed in March 2000, and again in 2005 and 2007, according to a planning staff report.

The 2007 plan replaced four buildings intended for retail and a restaurant with two buildings that house the current administrative building and conference center with parking lots. That plan also made adjustments to a plaza area, between the center tower and the marina.

Contact JANELLE FROST at 443-2404.

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