The Champions Boulevard area of North Myrtle Beach will get bigger under a plan that council passed for the second and final time Monday night.
The new plan consists of a trio of ordinances that will allow for the extension of Champions Boulevard, a new development on that extension, and another new development between the existing Park Pointe neighborhood and Champions Boulevard. The plan also includes $4.25 million in funding to buy 96 acres for the sports park expansion to the south.
Two tracts of land equating to about 15 acres between the existing Park Pointe neighborhood and Champions Boulevard are being rezoned from commercial to a residential zoning classification that allows single-family homes, townhouses and mid-rise apartments. Under the ordinance, if development of either tract exceeds 29 units, a second access will have to be built to that particular tract.
Residents were concerned about high-rise apartments during first reading, but only one person voiced concerns on Monday.
“I think the council felt as if R-2A fit because the rest of the property surrounding it is R-2A,” Mayor Marilyn Hatley said. “Quite frankly, it’s very unusual for people to be against down-zoning property. I think this is the first time that I’ve ever had anyone come into city hall at a meeting and complain about council or share their concerns about the council downzoning something.”
To allay Parke Pointe’s fears of apartments encroaching their neighborhood, the landowner agreed to install a 6-foot fence on top of the neighborhood’s existing berm if any apartment more than 40-feet tall is built, according to the ordinance. Park Pointe property owners can maintain the berm between their neighborhood and the proposed development, and can plant additional foliage with written permission.
“The land is going to be developed, whether it’s commercial or whether it’s R-2A,” Hatley said.
The plans call for Champions Boulevard’s extension to Long Bay Road and eventually, Water Tower Road. A development capped at 750 units is planned for three parcels of land totaling about 130 acres along the extension. The agreement allows Sandridge to build the road if they need to, and the city will reimburse them up to $1.05 million by the end of 2022 if Sandridge so chooses.
Park Pointe residents are getting another lane on Champions Boulevard as a result of the deal. The new lane from Robert Edge will turn into a left turn-only lane to enter Park Pointe, and is supposed to be complete by November 1. The city plans to reserve it for neighborhood residents during the Christmas light show.
The Sandridge Group owns all the land where the developments are planned, and the plans passed on Monday are also the first step in resolving a 2017 lawsuit between the city and Sandridge over the extension of Champion’s Boulevard.