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SC: Horry County Council halts development in order to complete Carolina Bays Parkway

Earlier this month, the Horry County (SC) Council unanimously voted to permanently halt development along the proposed path of the Carolina Bays Parkway (SC 31).

The ban will affect 177 lots in the Osprey subdivision in Socastee. The County will be required to pay fair market value for the land.

When the Carolina Bays Parkway was originally proposed and later built, the section through Socastee from SC 544 to SC 707 was not completely funded. As a result, the land was not purchased by the county and the land was purchased for real estate development. The Osprey development is the only residential area either built or proposed in the highway's path.

After Horry County residents passed a one cent transportation sales tax last fall, the county now has the funds to complete the parkway. The County will also receive funds for the highway from South Carolina's Infrastructure Bank.

Some Osprey property owners claim that they were unaware that the land they owned was in the highway's proposed path. Some are blaming the County while others are angry at the developer.

The County says that the proposed route for the parkway was on County zoning maps as early as 2002. In addition, the county says that numerous public forums during that time discussed the route through Socastee. However, many property owners are individuals from out of state that may currently not reside in Horry County or did not at that time.

Horry County has $40 million budgeted for land acquisition for this phase of the Carolina Bays Parkway.

Story Links:
County blocks growth for road ---Myrtle Beach Sun News
Editorial: Blocking growth ---Myrtle Beach Sun News
Carolina Bays Parkway stands in the way of housing development --- WPDE-TV
Osprey Plantation

Commentary:
Oh boy, this could get dicey. This is one of the many examples of Government vs. Personal Property Rights that goes on in our country today. Although the term 'eminent domain' was not used in any of the articles, this does seem like such a case.

With property owners mad at both the county and the developer this could get nasty. The county feels that if they were to move the highway it would be moved on more environmentally sensitive land, and fear that lawsuits by environmental and conservation groups would delay or even kill the project.

But now - even with the $40 million budgeted for purchasing the property to build the road - the highway still faces a number of potential lawsuits. The developer suing the county, the property owners suing both the county and the developer (separately or jointly), or the declaration by the council to halt development being called illegal.

The county didn't have the cash to reserve the right-of-way years ago allowing the developer to do whatever it wanted with the land. It sure seems that there should have been much better communications and a partnership between Horry County and the developer. It would have saved a lot of issues and tax dollars now and most definitely in the future. And most importantly, this communication and partnership would have saved a lot of property owners grief and surprise in losing land that they had purchased for their own use.

Comments

It's possible the developer bought the land anyway, figuring he/she/they'd probably still make money either way, whether the land was ultimately bought by the county or by individuals. But, not knowing the developer, I can't be certain either way.
Adam said…
unfortunately, none of the articles stated who the developer was. I tried a few online searches to see whom it was but found nothing. Once I find out the name of the developer, I'll either update this post or make another one.

You make a good point that the developer saw this as a money maker either way. However as the editorial read, "an attorney for the developer said the county should move the road rather than cleave the development, Osprey Plantation, in two."

I've added a link to Osprey Plantation to the blog entry.

http://www.ospreyplantation.com/
slide said…
I purchased a lot in the devolopment for 105,000.00 my question is what is fair market vaule. there is nothing but a cleared field. Is the county going to look at it as rural land or am I going to get at least my purchase price back. The developer is the same as plantation lakes, cypress river and they just started another one I'm not sure of the name.
Tom said…
Months later and many out of town lot owners do not yet know what is going on. Also have 11 active MLS listings for Osprey lots. I contacted every Horry Council member and received only one response. SCDOT will not respond to my inquiries. The developer, Ralph Teal, Jr. will take calls.

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