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Horry County

Flood Victims ask County Council to “fix” CFA Development loophole

On Tuesday, December 10th, Horry County Council will vote on Ordinance 113-19, which is a request for rezoning a CFA parcel of approximately 129 acres on Four Mile Road. This area is situated just West of Conway, S.C.

Developers have found a loop hole in a zoning distinction on land listed as C.F.A. ( commercial, forestry and agriculture). The land along Highway 319 located on Four Mile Road is zoned as C.F.A.

Many developer’s rezoning requests are using this green card, decades-old zoning category called Commercial, Forestry and Agriculture (CFA). Properties zoned CFA are generally timberlands and farmlands. CFA zoning allows a whopping 60 different lands uses, but the one that’s concerning is multi-family units, which are apartments or condos.

Condos, highrises, and Town-homes are not big sellers in rural Horry County. Developers have been able, however, to get the rezoning approved simply by making the lot sizes smaller and building traditional homes rather than the multi-family units as the law requires.

How are these developers getting away with bending these zoning laws? Horry County Flood victims are asking Horry County Council to amend the CFA rules to remove multi-family units from the CFA zoning category before more rural developments are approved.

As Paul Gable of the GrandStrandDaily.com reports: The 319 Area Plan calls for minimum lot size of 20,000 sq. ft. for single family homes. The request was recommended for disapproval by the Horry County Planning staff but recommended for approval by the county Planning Commission by a 5-4 vote.

Some residents in the area expressed concerns about lot size, potential stormwater runoff and increased traffic from the proposed development. The residents were upset that the minimum lot size they expected for single family homes in the area plan was twice the size being requested by the developer. They felt the 319 Area Plan minimums should be adhered to.

In a perfect world the residents demanding adherence to 20,000 sq. ft. minimum lot size would probably win their point. However, zoning and development within Horry County is far from a perfect world.

The lines on CFA zoning have clearly been blurred.

Residents say they will begin holding Horry County Councilmen responsible for creating clear boundaries on what CFA is and is not.

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About David Hucks

Born in 1961, David is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

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