Neighbors feel chipped over tree clear-cutting

Almost all the trees on the site of a future RV park have been cut down. (WPDE)

Neighbors of a future RV Park on Highway 90 say the representative of the developer of the property didn't keep a promise he made to keep most of the property's trees during a community outreach meeting.

Instead, the land sits nearly barren after weeks of clear-cutting.

"The plan that they showed them, they weren't going to be touching many of the trees," Stuart Edge lamented. "And as you can see, they did a little more than just touch a few of them."

For many construction projects in Horry County, one of the first steps is to remove most of the existing trees on the land.

However, Horry County Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning David Schwerd said if the trees were kept, they'd still end up dead.

County land needs to be graded before construction happens so storm runoff has somewhere to go. Oftentimes, the land is raised, a process that would kill any existing trees.

"They need to stick with the regulations, but outside of that, if they make decisions outside of what's regulated for that particular area, then it is sort of up to the property owner and developer," Horry County spokeswoman Kelly Moore said.

Moore explained that Horry County has as many as 300 development districts, each with their own rules and regulations.

Some require different property setbacks, while construction crews can't cut down large oak trees in others.

Neighbors of the RV site are bracing for more changes along Highway 90 after International Drive is completed later this year.

Schwerd said no plans have been filed yet, but several could come. He said the last big construction boom in that area happened when International Drive was added to Ride II.

Edge said as long as developers can keep some of the character of the area, he'll be satisfied.

"They put all these houses in there, and the next thing you've got problems, and the county has to pay for it," he said.

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