Barefoot homeowners upset about development plan

A group of homeowners in North Myrtle Beach can claim a partial victory. A plan to clear-cut some timber near their homes in Barefoot Resort will be changed, after homeowners there objected to it.

Waccamaw Land and Timber owns 70 acres of woods and a pond adjacent to Barefoot.

The company wants to develop the land and build homes there, but the property is landlocked. The only access to it would be for the company to build a road through some trees and behind a row of homes.

The company submitted plans to the city to build a road and immediately clear-cut many acres of timber. But the plans would mean bringing big log trucks down Marsh Glen Drive, a residential street.

That proposal had Barefoot residents up in arms.

"It's certainly not set up to permit a long logging truck with extended load behind it to maneuver either into the neighborhood or around once you get in the neighborhood," said Barefoot Homeowners Association president Dave Jenkins.

Angry homeowners sent out a flurry of e-mails. Waccamaw Land and Timber became aware of the opposition and changed its mind. The company now plans to amend its proposal, to take out the logging part.

"They would not log it until there is development actually going to occur there and when they do so, obviously if it's within city limits, it would be in accordance with the city's tree ordinance," said North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling.

All fine and good, say the homeowners, but someday, the company will still have to build a road and still bring in those big log trucks, with all that entails.

"The safety factor, the speed factor, the damage to our infrastructure. It's just the worst thing that could possibly happen to our neighborhood," said Barefoot homeowner Joe Gosiewski.

Dowling says, at least the property will be annexed into the city, so the company will have to abide by city rules about limiting the number and species of trees that can be cut.

NewsChannel 15 tried to contact Waccamaw Land and Timber officials. They did not return our calls.

The North Myrtle Beach Planning Commission will consider the amended request at its February 21st meeting.