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Guns, open burning, and private property issues go before county council Tuesday

The public gets a chance this week to weigh in on the county’s proposed guide for decision making through the year 2040 on critical issues such as public safety, economic development and private property land use.

The Horry County Council will conduct the public hearing during their regular council meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Conway.

Also on the agenda is a proposed ordinance prohibiting the discharge of firearms within and near densely populated areas in unincorporated areas of the county.

The gun ordinance is set for first reading only, the public gets their say during the Oct. 1 public hearing.

The public will get the chance to weigh in Tuesday on a separate proposal to regulate open burning in the county.

Specific language in the Imagine 2040 plan is expected to draw significant opposition from environmentalists with the Coastal Conservation League, Riverkeepers and other local groups that oppose new development.

The language deals with proposed scenic and conservation areas — new designations made on private property that would prohibit new construction.

Environmentalists want that language removed, arguing it would be used as a loophole for development.

The language gives private property owners flexibility to present specific and more in-depth information on their parcel including soil samples to prove it’s not a flood zone, and should not have been designated as conservation or scenic land.

David Schwerd, director of county planning and zoning, said they used the best available information to make the designations from a 30,000 foot view of the properties, which is not 100% accurate. 

“So it’s necessary to have this flexibility in the ordinance,” Schwerd said.