The developer is responsible for the road, but wants a new tax to pay for its upkeep

Site plans for proposed development at Legends.
Site plans for proposed development at Legends. Horry County planning and zoning

Residents along Legends Drive will have the final say in whether their taxes are raised to pay for road improvement, something many in the community say they need to accommodate new housing construction.

A developer plans to add more than 300 new housing units in the Legends Drive community. The developer, which is responsible for the road, is floating the idea of creating a special tax district so that current and future residents would pay for the road’s upkeep.

The additional housing is expected to triple the amount of traffic on the one-lane road that spills onto U.S. 501, county officials say.

Legends Drive is owned by the developer who is solely responsible for upkeep, so the county can’t even make improvements on the private property, Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught said Tuesday.

“It is beat up and in bad shape,” Vaught acknowledged.

But for the cost to be shared by the community through a special tax district, an election must be held to approve it, says Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught.

But that’s only if 15 percent of voting residents in that community submit a petition to the council asking for the district.

Then the council must approve the petition and put the tax question on the ballot for a vote during a regular or special election.

Those in the community will have the final say, Vaught said.

“The council could still shoot it down, but that doesn't usually happen,” Vaught said.

The developers are asking the county to amend the current plan to allow for fewer housing units in areas outside of conservation zones, a move that was approved last week by the planning commission. However, the amended plan must also be approved by the full county council.

It’s not just the residents along Legends Drive who are concerned about the proposal, but folks who live in the neighboring Carolina Lakes also oppose the project.

They don’t want 40 of the houses constructed along the Legends golf course border because that traffic would spill into their neighborhood and onto Carolina Lakes Boulevard.

Both communities are in Vaught’s district, and unless certain changes are made, he could be the leading opponent against final approval.

Specifically, Vaught says those 40 homes should not be constructed along the border with Carolina Lakes Boulevard.

“Hopefully, I can get the developers to change what they are going to do before it comes to council, because if it doesn’t, I’m going to get it disapproved,” Vaught said.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Aug. 22, but the agenda has not been set and it’s not known if the proposal will come up for first reading then. The newly proposed construction will require three readings from the council before it is finally approved.

Audrey Hudson: 843-444-1765, @AudreyHudson