Help the community of Island Green in Horry County, South Carolina
Help the community of Island Green in Horry County, South Carolina
This is a petition to support a buy-out of almost 200 acres of land in the community of Island Green, in Horry County, South Carolina. This land is currently owned by a developer who wants to add more homes to an already overdeveloped community,
with no regard for the flooding or safety issues of the residents. We seek the help of any conservation group that would take care of nature here and who would be more concerned about Island Green's concerns.
Island Green is a community built over 40 plus years ago. At one time it had 3 beautiful nine-hole golf courses and a spacious clubhouse that served food and drink. It has one entrance coming off of Freewoods Road (a two-lane road) onto Sunnehanna Drive (also a two-lane road) that serves as the main road through a community of 1200 plus established doors (single-family homes and condos) that are serviced by 25 different Home Owner Associations. The golf course has been abandoned for many years and now a developer wants to add 200-400 plus homes on or close to wetlands, into a one ingress/egress gated community and with NO possibility of another exit in case of emergencies.
The Island Green community feels there are four issues here...community safety, flooding, wildlife and nature, and the preservation of historical sites. Individually, each issue holds enough weight on the lives of the community members to warrant special attention and care when it comes to development in the area. However, the current behavior of politicians in office and their relationship with developers showcases that the safety and well-being of the residents in the Island Green Community are secondary to the corporate interests of developers. The 25 communities within Island Green fear for their lives with flooding and safety issues and are looking for the support of like-minded citizens who believe that the people should be controlling the government, and not developers controlling the government, who impact the lives of the public. The people’s homes and the safety of their families should drive policy in local communities, not corporate interests.
MONEY should not be prioritized over its citizens’ safety in Horry County Government.
Furthermore, the Horry County Planning Commission consistently votes against its own Standards of Safety when it comes to the road situation in and out of Island Green. The lack of commitment to local safety standards jeopardizes the safety and well-being of the residents of Island Green, especially in an emergency, either natural or man-made. We have flooding concerns, past, present, and future with a lot of our established homes already sitting on or close to wetlands. Island Green has flooded before during hurricanes and we've seen the water rise during regular rain showers with much anxiety. The elevation of the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge next to our community is much higher than our community of Island Green and the refuge is all wetlands. Clear cutting land on wetlands and adding "fill and build" homes will not help our fear of flooding. Building new homes on the ground that has been made higher than the already established homes intensifies our fear of flooding of current long-time residents' homes and there is no guarantee that this won't increase the flooding. In case of emergency, the 1200 plus residents in this community have to reach Sunnehanna Drive, the one main road that has direct access to the entrance to the community in order to evacuate. Imagine over 1200 plus vehicles trying to get to this one road to get out, now double that number because developers want to add more homes. Adding a turn lane at the exit of Sunnehanna onto Freewoods Road is not going to stop the bottleneck of cars within the community trying to get out in case of an emergency. According to a traffic
study conducted by the developer, pre-April of 2019, there are over 7,000 daily trips just on Sunnehanna Dr.
We now have this abandoned golf course with almost 120 acres that is very much alive with wildlife and nature. A lot of the wildlife originates in the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge that is directly next to 1/3 of our community, there are also conservation areas dotted throughout Island Green. Island Green is now alive with the most amazing wildlife. We have residents who have spotted possible endangered species that are "threatened" here, which is also a concern. The Wood Stork has been seen on our grounds, also a rare Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. Fish and Wildlife have the American Chaffseed on record in close proximity to our community as well. Unfortunately, there is no law in Horry County saying an Environmental Impact Statement should be done. A survey should be done to show what is living, thriving, and growing here. We need to step up to developers who only think of their next housing development, especially in an already overdeveloped community. It appears they have no concerns for the safety of the current residents much less the future ones of this community, or for that matter the wildlife that has taken over. We have already had surveyors here harassing an alligator in one of our ponds, that is on record with SCDNR. If they have no regard for a live alligator in his own habitat what makes you think they will care about any wildlife that might be nesting on the course or worry about any endangered plant as well.
A final concern is the discovery of four historical logging trams that come into the community of Island Green from the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge that had never been recorded. The South Carolina Institute of Archeology and Anthropology states that these logging trams will now go on record. It would be wonderful to look into this more, but it won't happen with a developer set on the destruction of this beautiful land.
Combining all of our concerns and hopefully bringing in experts like an Ecologist, Hydrologist, and a legal team could help us and finally give this community the peace it deserves. Our hope is for a Conservation Group to come in and make the almost 120 acres that are left of the golf course something that wildlife can take over and thrive, a place for residents to freely take strolls through and care for. Island Green residents shouldn't have to live in fear every time it rains that their home will flood or worry about the safety of their families in any kind of emergency evacuation just trying to leave their own community.
So many residents have tried before this group, their fight shouldn't be diminished or forgotten, we all have the best intentions and it's for a just cause. Please join our Facebook group: Saving Island Green Wildlife & Beyond.
Please view our website at: https://dawnesromeo.wixsite.com/islandgreen
Take a short survey at: https://dawnesromeo.wixsite.com/islandgreen/survey