Neighbors upset about proposed housing development near busy Murrells Inlet intersection

Georgetown County News

MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) – A developer is looking to put more than 100 condos and homes near a busy South Strand intersection, along the border of Horry and Georgetown counties.

The intersection of U.S. Highway 17 Bypass and South Carolina Highway 707 is especially known for its heavier traffic. A new housing development could be built a quarter mile away from it.

That has upset many in Murrells Inlet.

“This is the biggest thing to ever come down the pike in the history of Murrells Inlet, the most dense,” said Leon Rice, who lives in Murrells Inlet.

“Most of the complaints and problems we have in Murrells Inlet stem back to one thing and that’s overdevelopment,” said Donna Pierce, who also lives in Murrells Inlet. “Flooding, watershed, water quality, traffic [and] destruction of land.”

Native Homes is looking to put 115 units of condos and duplexes on about 11 acres off Sunnyside Avenue, which is a short road between U.S. 17 Business and Bypass. A traffic study says vehicles from the complex would take an average of 850 daily trips, two-thirds of which will use the busy intersection of U.S. 17 Bypass and S.C. 707.

The blueprints for the Sunnyside Avenue proposed development. (Courtesy: Georgetown County)

Neighbors say the traffic study is flawed though, because it uses typical rush hour times (7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.), instead of times when drivers go to the MarshWalk or beaches.

“These times certainly seem appropriate for peak times in a city,” said Bradley Floyd, who lives in Murrells Inlet. “I think we all in this room understand that is not the case in Murrells Inlet.”

Dan Stacy, who’s the developer’s attorney, says the complex should be allowed since it doesn’t require a rezoning.

“For 45 years, this has been a multi-family site,” said Stacy. “You have a private property owner who has a right to do this as a matter of zoning and he complies with all the county ordinances that are in place.”

Georgetown County Council unanimously gave the proposal a preliminary approval Tuesday night. This comes two weeks after the county’s planning commission recommended disapproval in a 3-2 vote.

Neighbors also disagree.

“Determine how a plan with so many unanswered questions could possibly come before county council,” said Gary Weinreich, who lives in Murrells Inlet.

The developer will still need to work with Georgetown County staff on the final construction plan before going back to council for approval.

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