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Re-zoning for Wizard Golf Course, again prohibited

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The voices of Carolina Forest residents have been heard. The rolling greens of the Wizard Golf Course will remain so … for now.

After the pushback from the community, the owners of the Wizard Golf Course decided not to go ahead with the rezoning plans and golfers can continue playing on the Links there.

The plan called for nearly 700 homes and townhouses to fill the 18 holes.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an attempted redevelopment, but residents are hopeful that until congested roads are fixed, it will be the last.

“I think it’s just hit the saturation point, where you have to say, ‘What are we doing here? We need a little planning, ”said Jim McGuire, who lives near the Wizard Gold course.

McGuire and his neighbor, James Thomas, live in Waterford Plantation, right next to Wizard Golf Course.

He says there are times, especially when the school bell is ringing, when entering and leaving the area can only be described by one word: Gridlock.

The idea of ​​building nearly 700 additional houses and townhouses next door does not bode well for the two residents.

“I think in terms of quality of life, the impact is just traffic jam and safety,” McGuire said.

They are not alone.

When the people of Carolina Forest learned about the Wizard’s development plan, more than 150 people showed up for a community meeting with the project engineer in October.

Senior engineer Felix Pitts told the crowd that this design would have less impact than some of the other construction attempts, as the main entrance would be on Postal Way, which is getting a clean expansion this year.

The Carolina Forest Civic Association still had doubts and asked Pitts to kill the idea.

They got their wish as Horry County Councilor Johnny Vaught said Pitts had met with several council members and decided not to proceed with the zoning change request.

“These people have valid concerns about overdevelopment and it’s going too fast for sure,” Vaught said.

Vaught says the overcrowding problem has crept into the county quite quickly over the past two years.

He says the county is tackling traffic congestion in the area with a series of projects: Carolina Forest Boulevard just expanded, Postal Way runs behind Tanger Outlets, part of 501 is six-lane, with two front bypass roads, and Gardner Lacy can see an extension of International Drive as a Ride 4 project.

Vaught is hoping that once some of them are completed, the idea of ​​developing the golf course won’t frustrate people as much as getting stuck in the sandbox.

“I don’t think you’re ever going to stop people from erupting, but I think you have to change the impact so that people don’t have a valid reason to erupt,” Vaught said.

Although you won’t hear any construction sounds coming out of the wizard, you will still hear clubs hitting the links.

The current zoning only allows this to be a golf course, and the owners have made no indication of closing the links anytime soon.

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