City of Myrtle Beach resident, Mark Lazarus is making it known that he has full intentions of running against Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner in the upcoming June primaries. Lazarus hired the powerful Walter Whetsell political consulting team.
Whetsell also represents Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune, as well as, controversial U.S. 7th District Congressman Tom Rice.
Developers are furious over Horry County Council’s choice to support local residents’ requests in changing a type of zoning known as CFA.
Zoning changes to CFA limit the amount of homes a developer can build on wetlands. The law change now enforces more stringent anti-flooding standards.
LAZARUS SEEKS HUGE CAMPAIGN FUNDING FROM DEVELOPERS
As the Sun News published: Others, though, speculated that malcontent among developers over the change to CFA zoning could play out in county council elections this spring. County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner, who’s demonstrated a willingness to impose stricter rules on developers (he helped usher through impact fees and more stringent anti-flooding building standards, for example), is up for reelection this year, and former county Chairman Mark Lazarus told The Sun News last week that he is exploring a run against Gardner. Lazarus criticized the changes to CFA zoning and said that while specific developers have not approached him about running against Gardner, he generally enjoys the support of the development community. “I’m not working directly with any developers, I have friends throughout the entire county from A to Z…(from) developers to retirees. And a lot of them are not liking the direction that the county is going,” Lazarus said.
Gardner won a tight election race against Lazarus in 2018. Gardner received 12,252 votes compared to Lazarus’ 12,058 votes, according to results from the county election website.
Rural and local Horry County residents were pleased with Gardner’s and council’s changes to the CFA zoning code.
A handful of powerful developers, backed by the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors, have deep pockets.
Will the voters re-elect Lazarus, the very candidate that got the county in this overdevelopment mess to start with? Only time will tell.