The Heather Glen Golf Links in Little River closed Thursday after 30 years in business, and the future of the sprawling fairways remain in doubt as county officials and property owners hash out details to turn the 430-acre property into a residential area.
Just hours before the course closed for good, the Horry County Planning Commission heard proposed changes for the plan to build 1,000 homes.
Some neighbors are now favoring the revised proposal, which was shot down by the Horry County Council in October.
But Horry County Deputy Planner David Schwerd acknowledged he has received other letters that show some neighbors remain unconvinced it’s the right use for the property.
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John Richards with Thomas & Hutton, the property owners’ representative, said they are working to get easements to address stormwater concerns.
One solution to reduce flooding is to relocate the beavers off Mullet Creek and tear down the dams causing the damage, Richards said.
“We believe that will improve the situation,” Richards said.
They are also working with the state transportation department to find solutions to potential increased traffic along Highway 17, and are currently conducting a traffic study.
Turn lanes may be possible, but a traffic signal is unlikely, Richards said.
Recent counts show about 20,000 cars a day along the four-lane highway, and the transportation agency needs to see at least 65,000 before a light can be installed near the welcome center at the state line, Richards said.
Additionally, the number of houses has been reduced by 80 and buffers have been increased to 35 feet.
Instead of 5,000 square-foot lots, the footprint has expanded to 7,000 square feet. They also went from requiring five feet between houses and property lines to seven-foot side setbacks.
“It’s actually low density, for what we normally have,” Schwerd said.
The planning commission will vote on the new proposal at their Dec. 7 meeting, then it goes back to the full county council for reconsideration.
The golf course is currently zoned for residential with minimum lot sizes of 10,000 square feet. The property owners are asking that it be rezoned for mixed residential development.
The 1,000 units would include 766 single-family homes, 234 duplex units, and the development would contain 58 acres of ponds, 42 acres of wetlands and 93 acres of open space.
If the zoning request is approved, the property would be sold and developed by home builder D.R. Horton.