As new housing and commercial development spreads inland along the southern reaches of the Grand Strand, some residents and county officials want special rules to make sure future uses don’t become unsightly sprawl.
The recent sale of one horse farm on McDowell Shortcut Road and the listing of a second picturesque horse farm with an asking price of $4.2 million prompted the concerns within the Burgess community—one of the fastest growing areas of Horry County.
“If I had my way, they would stay there,” Al Jordan, president of the Greater Burgess Community Association said of the farms nestled among the golf courses and some housing developments already lining the road.
“Whether it’s another housing development or commercial enterprise, these are both good size tracts of land,” Jordan said. “We imagine it will develop, we want to make it look as good as we can and fit into the community and feel good about it.”
Under the current zoning and without the new rules called an overlay, 50 different types of commercial uses or half-acre residential lots could replace the horse farms, said David Schwerd deputy director of Horry County Planning and Zoning.
“Their concern is that some developer will want to come in and develop it as commercial, which would not require rezoning or a public hearing, they could just go in and start developing it,” Schwerd said.
The new standards, which already apply to the Holmestown Road and S.C. 707 corridor, means the appearance of buildings are regulated, special requirements for pedestrians and landscaping, signs must meet certain standards, and more buffering is required between houses and the road, Schwerd said.
“The purpose is to set community standards,” Jordan said. “It’s to try to improve the appearance of the corridor.”
The proposal to extend the overlay to McDowell Shortcut Road will be discussed by the Planning Commission at their workshop session Thursday at 3 p.m., and at their regular meeting on Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m.