'It's not going to make everybody happy': Imagine 2040 works on map for county zoning

(Madeline Montgomery/WPDE)

More and more people are coming to Horry County, but there are not enough houses for everyone and current residents do not want more houses going up.

"We've been told by all the statistics that another 120,000 people will be here in the next 25 years. They have to have a place to live. We know from our housing statistics that we don't have enough housing," said Stephen Neeves, the Horry County Planning Commission chairman.

The Horry County Imagine 2040 Steering Committee has talked to people who live all over the county and they are not exactly welcoming of new homes.

"A lot of the rural community has indicated that they want to remain rural," said Leigh Kane, the principal planner of the committee.

"That is the biggest problem," said Neeves.

The chairman of the Horry County planning commission showed us on the maps there is not much room for more growth in places like Carolina Forest, Myrtle Beach and Socastee.

"Finding that balance: That is the charge of the planning commission," said Neeves.

The 2040 steering committee is making another map that the planning commission will reference for all rezoning requests.

"It's not going to make everybody happy. It can't. But it has to be workable so that we keep the rural characteristics that we have out in the county, but also accommodate all the people who want to have this type of lifestyle and are moving to Horry County," said Neeves.

How do they do that?

"So we are going to have to find a path. And that's why we have to look at every rezoning on a case by case study to find low impact for the areas that want low impact. But then, we did have some people say we're ready for high density now. And to get some people closer to where they work we're going to have to allow some high density," said Neeves.

The next public meeting is June 14th.

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