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Development of Georgetown Estates on hold

  • Thursday, December 26, 2013

  • Updated Friday, January 3, 2014 8:57 am

After complaints from neighbors and questions from members of the Georgetown County Planning Commission, the developer of Georgetown Estates asked that the commission defer a vote on his request to change his Planned Development.

The original Planned Development for the 120-acre property, which is on U.S. Highway 521 west of Nine Mile Curve, was approved in 2006. It included a 5.66-acre commercial area fronting the highway, 214 single-family and patio homes on lots ranging in size from 6,000 square feet to 14,373 square feet, and a community pool.

Will Moody is the new owner of the property and he wants to increase the number of units from 214 to 319 and be able to put manufactured and mobile homes in the development.

Moody said the new development would be an “asset” to the county and would “fill a void in the market” for lower income housing.

Planning Commission member Lee Shoulette expressed concern about property values if a mix of mobile, modular and single family homes was allowed. He wondered what would happen if someone put a modular home on a lot, and then the neighbors put up mobile homes next door.

Planning Commission chairman Brian Henry had similar concerns. He said he would have “serious reservations” about purchasing a lot without knowing what was going in nearby.

Bonnie Tanner, who lives near the development, said she was concerned about her and her neighbors’ property values, and what smaller lot sizes and an influx of lower income families would mean to the neighborhood.

A New Jersey couple that already owns a lot in the development wrote a letter to the Planning Commission opposing the addition of more lots.

Henry encouraged Moody to work with county staff and neighbors to resolve some of the issues that came up at Thursday’s meeting.

In other business

A 36-home subdivision was approved for a 15.86-acre property at the corner of Petigru Drive and Martin Luther King Road in Pawleys Island.

The development is split into two sections of 17 homes and 19 homes, with two private lots and a pond in between. The smallest lot is 6,400 square feet, and every lot is at least 60 feet wide.

One neighbor said he was concerned about whether the development would contain low-income housing, and what the effect would be on traffic in the area, which is already bad.

Felix Pitts, representing the developer, said there were no plans for low-income or Habitat for Humanity houses.

Henry then pointed out that there are Habitat houses adjacent to the property already.

Henry also said he had concerns when he first saw the plans, but “it looks like a nice, responsible development. It’s in keeping with what we as a county have said we want in that area.”

Although that portion of Petigru Drive is not paved, the county has been improving roads in the area because an entrance to Stables Park is nearby.

The commission unanimously approved changes to the Cancer Center Planned Development in Georgetown, which will now be called the Yawkey Medical Park Planned Development.

The property, at the corner of Jessamine Avenue and North Fraser Street, used to be home to a skating rink but is now owned by Georgetown Hospital System. An endoscopy center is already in operation on the site.

If given final approval by Georgetown County Council, one acre will be added to the Planned Development and a 51,500-square-foot medical building will be constructed on that land.

Gary Cooper, a resident of Jessamine Avenue, told the commission that flooding on his street was already bad and he’s worried more development on the site will make the flooding worse.

Thomas Bevins, representing Georgetown Hospital System, told the commission that a stormwater pond on the site will be expanded.

The second phase of the Pond Road subdivision in Murrells Inlet, which will include 32 single-family homes in a gated community, was approved by the Planning Commission.

The 16.758-acre property is on Pond Road near Isle of Palms Drive. The smallest lot in the development is 10,048 square feet.

Ed Fitzgerald, who is president of the Property Owners Association in the nearby Linksbrook community, expressed concerns about flooding, traffic and low water pressure, all of which have been worsening in recent years.

Although the Planning Commission was able to approve the development, Georgetown County Council will have the final say on whether it can be gated.

Zack Grate, Brian Henry, Lee Shoulette and Freddie Hill were in attendance at the meeting.

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