Community members hold meeting with Horry County leaders to discuss rural development

HORRY COUNTY (WBTW) – Residents of rural Horry County fear growth could spread west.

To address this concern, some members of the community held a public meeting with members of the county leadership on Tuesday evening at the Cane Branch Baptist Church.

One of the organizers was farmer Matthew Brown. He said the goal was to ask questions of county officials while educating area residents.

“I believe the rural sector is losing its voice in Horry County,” Brown said. “I just want everyone to have a voice.”

Chris Stevens is another organizer. He hopes the meetings will bring about a compromise.

“It’s not meant to be a debate,” Stevens said. “This is not meant to be a passionate exchange of words between either party. Hopefully this is a respectful and educational meeting where we can come together and share ideas with each other and hopefully it, to reach a compromise. “

Horry County Councilor Danny Hardee, who represents the 10th District, said he looked forward to the meeting with affected county residents.

“The county will be right there to try and answer the questions and their concerns,” Hardee said. “And it gives us a bigger perspective on what people want. “

What these residents don’t want is unchecked growth.

“We are as rural as possible,” said Brown. “And a lot of people would like to keep it that way. “

Residents of the western part of the county have followed developments further east closely. Of great concern to Stevens is the county’s limitation on future rezoning along parts of Highway 90.

“Since they’re limiting rezoning there, it’s just going to push the developers that way,” Stevens said.

Brown and Stevens both said growth in this part of Horry County needs to be calculated to avoid problems found elsewhere.

“There is a lack of infrastructure in place, some overcrowding and real traffic problems,” Stevens said. “We want to avoid those same situations here. “

The County’s Imagine 2040 plan calls for preserving rural communities and lifestyles while considering future growth. Brown and Stevens said county leaders failed to follow through on the comprehensive plan, forgetting their commitment to rural areas.

“You don’t want to tell someone what they can or cannot do with their property, but at the same time, you don’t want this development to reshape communities without public participation,” Stevens said.

About Keneth T. Graves

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