17 homes to be built across from Carolina Forest High School; residents concerned about flooding, traffic

By Joel Vazquez-Juarbe, ABCNews4.com

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WPDE) — When Terri Ewing goes to her backyard, she sees the 13th hole of the Myrtle Beach National Golf Course and a wall of trees in front of Gardner Lacy Road.

But soon those trees will become homes.

“If they clear cut the trees that they’re planning to clear cut behind me, that is going to cause us to flood,” Ewing said.

Ewing said this neighborhood already experiences a lot of flooding. Her neighbor Bernice Stone said she had to pay to install a drainage system in her backyard just to keep the flooding manageable.

“If they take all those trees out and all that water comes flying back down in, I don’t think that system that I put in or any of the other people that have systems in their yard is going to be able to hold it and we’re going to get flooded,” Stone said.

At Monday’s Board of Zoning and Appeals meeting, Felix Pitts with G3 Engineering requested to reduce the buffer width narrow nine-acre plot of land to make way for 17 houses. 

“The reason we were in here tonight and asking for the reduction is because you can’t do anything to unreasonably restrict access to a property or development of a property,” Pitts said.

This project also includes a 50-foot private one-way road that comes off and back onto Gardner Lacy Road. Residents are concerned this project will make traffic worse after a traffic light was just installed to manage it.

“People are lined up. Dozens and dozens of cars in front of that lot that he wants to propose,” one resident said at the meeting.

Pitts said traffic tests showed that the development would make little impact, and they have a plan to deal with stormwater.

“We’re not going to flood anybody out. We’re going to direct stormwater to onsite stormwater detention ponds,” Pitts said.

Since the land is already zoned for residential, these homes are going to be built sooner or later.

“If it were up to them, [the residents] there wouldn’t be anything built on that property and that wasn’t what we were in their trying to accomplish tonight. Tonight, what we were trying to accomplish was how do we safely allow access to the property in a way that doesn’t unreasonably restrict development of property or access,” Pitts said.

The request was approved in a six to two vote.

The developer originally had two other reduction requests involving landscaping and the front setback, but ultimately withdrew those requests at the last minute.

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