“This is one of the most exciting purchases we have made in the history of Horry County on the side of the citizens,” said Lazarus.
Last night, Horry County Council voted unanimously for an $11 million purchase to create a conservation preserve near the Carolina Forest community. The purchase includes 3,700 acres of land at $3,000 an acre, the mineral rights and the cost of setting up a wetlands mitigation bank to offset wetlands disturbed by future road construction. Also included in the purchase are plans to extend Gardner Lacy Road to International Drive.
MyrtleBeachSC.com reached out to Lisa Jones-Turansky, Chief Conservation Officer of the S.C. Coastal Conservation League concerning her thoughts on the purchase. Said Turansky, “We are optimistic and hopeful that Horry County is structuring this mitigation project in a way that benefits tax payers and the county because the property serves as an important ecological corridor that we fully support conserving. But without knowing the details about how the bank is structured and specifically how it will be used, it is impossible for us to know if it is the best deal for the people of Horry County.”
Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus did say, at the council meeting, he intended to sit down with the Conservation League to work out the details of the purchase. “This is one of the most exciting purchases we have made in the history of Horry County on the side of the citizens,” said Lazarus.
“This acreage will be protected by a permanent conservation easement restricting any future development and improving the unique coastal Carolina Bay habitat,” Lazarus said. “There will also be possibilities for passive recreation uses for residents to include hiking, biking, bird-watching and hunting.”
“With this property, we won’t have to buy much right-of-way property at all, and the mitigation will be done too,” said Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught.