When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Conway, SC

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If you have been accused and charged with a crime you are in need of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Conway, SC. Having a skilled and dedicated criminal defense lawyer on your side is key in order to protect your freedoms and to ensure that a proper legal defense is built to shield you. Dealing with legal charges in Conway can be a highly distressing ordeal with even minor violations causing considerable impact on an individual's personal and work life. The repercussions of having a criminal record can be severe, leading to loss of employment, severed relationships and alienation from loved ones.

At Theos Law Firm we offer trustworthy legal representation to those who need it most. Our criminal defense team has over 50 years of combined experience and is committed to ensuring our clients maintain their freedom and move forward with their lives. From handling drug-related charges to more nuanced federal cases, sexual misconduct offenses and murder cases, we take a personalized approach to every case. By utilizing cutting-edge legal strategies and decades of combined experience, we provide the best opportunity to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Service Areas

We help clients overcome criminal charges in a wide range of cases, including the following:

  • Homicides
  • Drug Crimes
  • Juvenile Crimes
  • Sex Crimes
  • Theft Crimes
  • Violent Crimes
  • Misdemeanor Offenses
  • Federal Offenses
  • More

If you are facing one or more of the charges above, it's imperative that you establish contact with a legal advocate ASAP. At Theos Law, you can rest easy knowing our phone line is always open. When your future is up for grabs, let our team of criminal defense lawyers fight for your rights. It all starts with a free consultation at our law firm in Conway where we will educate you on the particulars of the charges you're facing and explain the next steps in our representation.

At this point, you probably have many questions in mind. Keep reading for more information on criminal law in South Carolina and some of our criminal defense specialties at Theos Law.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Conway, SC

Understanding Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina

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In South Carolina, criminal cases are classified into different categories based on the severity of the crime. Generally speaking, offenses that carry a maximum penalty of less than one year are considered misdemeanors. On the other hand, crimes that carry a punishment of more than one year in prison are generally classified as felonies.

State and Federal Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina

Crimes in The Palmetto State are usually split into three categories: (1) Magistrate or Municipal Level Offenses; (2) General Sessions or Circuit Court State Charges; and, (3) Federal Crimes. Classifications are based on which prosecuting body has jurisdiction to prosecute a particular charge or offense. Regardless of which court your criminal charge is in, the Theos Law Firm has decades of experience protecting individuals from prosecution and assuring that the best possible outcome is achieved.

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The Difference Between Misdemeanors and Felonies in South Carolina

Understanding the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony crime can be challenging for someone facing their first charge. Misdemeanors are generally considered minor offenses, and can result in punishment by incarceration up to one year.

Conversely, felonies are more severe crimes which are punishable by incarceration of more than one year. Those charged with a felony may face significant fines and a prison sentences of over a year in a federal or state institution. Convicted felons may face difficulties after their release such as losing the right to vote and the right to carry a firearm. These penalties make it crucial to have a reliable criminal defense attorney in Conway, SC.

Plea Deals in South Carolina

It is not uncommon for legal cases to be resolved without a trial through a plea deal. In order to assure that the best possible plea deal become available it is crucial for your legal defense to properly build your defense and prepare your case for trial. Deciding to represent yourself or not hiring the best legal team will likely result in exposure to unnecessary penalties, fines and jail time.

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When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Conway, SC?

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At Theos Law Firm, we often receive questions from potential clients about when they should hire a criminal defense attorney for the charges that they're facing. Although each situation and client are unique, there are some common criminal situations to keep in mind. In general, it's always best to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as you're charged or have been arrested.

Below are some guidelines to help you decide when it's necessary to retain a criminal defense attorney for your case in South Carolina.

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When You've Been Accused or Charged

Thinking about hiring a criminal defense lawyer when you're charged with a crime is a no-brainer for most, and for good reason. Our team of experience criminal defense attorneys can offer assistance with various offenses, ranging from minor crimes to more serious ones such as sexual assault and manslaughter. Regardless of the charges, navigating the legal system can be complex, and without the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the situation can escalate rapidly. It is critical that you engage an experienced attorney as soon as possible!


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When Investigators or Police Question You

As you may have observed in movies or television shows, the police might request you to provide a statement, giving the impression that you are not under arrest. Remember, it is within your rights to have a criminal defense attorney in Conway, SC, present during questioning, and you should absolutely use that to your advantage. If possible, consult with an attorney before answering any questions or participating in any discussions with law enforcement.


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When Authorities Search Your Residence

In the event that law enforcement officers arrive at your residence with a warrant, it indicates that a judge has determined there is reasonable suspicion that evidence related to a criminal offense is present in your home. Regardless of whether they discover and confiscate anything, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a seasoned defense attorney to discuss the situation and receive assistance in determining any potential charges or locations they may investigate in the future.


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When You Are Wrongly Accused of Committing a Crime

Could you imagine being accused of something you didn't do? When you are accused or charged with committing a crime that you didn't commit defending yourself may seem straightforward but it can be an arduous task to see to it that the charges are timely resolved. It can also feel hopeless and like it's impossible for you to get someone to listen to your side. The truth is that anything you say or do can and will be used against you. To increase your chances of being cleared of charges, it's advisable to have a defense lawyer who can support your innocence and fight for your rights. Criminal defense attorneys at Theos Law don't just listen - we act swiftly and always with your best interests at heart.


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When Your Child Is Involved

The legal system for juveniles in South Carolina is different than it is for adults. It comes with its own complications and hurdles to overcome. If you your child has been accused of a crime it's imperative to get legal counsel swiftly. Failure to do so could be destructive to your child's life, your family or result in a exposure to jail time. Keep reading to learn more about just a few of the most common criminal defense cases we accept at Theos Law Firm.

Criminal Defense for DUIs in South Carolina

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In terms of common criminal offenses in South Carolina, DUIs top the list, especially regarding mindful drivers with clean driving records and no criminal history. Unfortunately for these drivers, a DUI conviction in South Carolina stays on your record and cannot be expunged. Even first-time offenses with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent can be costly. Your insurance premiums go up for years, you may end up paying almost $1,000 in fines and fees, and there's a good chance you'll have to perform community service or serve jail time.

If your breathalyzer test result is more than .15%, you refuse the breathalyzer, or it is recorded as a refusal, your license will be automatically suspended, which complicates matters further. Throw in the possibility of interlock device rental, and your life may never be the same. For those reasons alone, it is crucial to approach such charges with the help of a DUI defense lawyer. At Theos Law Firm, our attorneys have years of experience in successfully fighting these types of charges.

Fortunately, if you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, there is hope. That's especially true if the accused has undergone a breath or blood test for DUI. In fact, cases that involve such tests are successfully beaten every day. At Theos Law Firm, we will thoroughly investigate your DUI case in Conway and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.

To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in Conway, SC, may seek answers to many questions, including:

  • Was your DUI stop legal? If not, your case could be thrown out.
  • Is there enough probable cause or evidence for an arrest? If there is not, it's possible to file a pre-trial motion for your case to be dismissed.
  • Did officers explain implied consent rights? One of the most common errors police make is failing to take this step.
  • Did the police maintain your BAC and breathalyzer results? Breath testing often comes with inherent weaknesses. This can create doubt in a juror's mind.
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Criminal Defense for Drug Cases in South Carolina

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If you are dealing with drug-related crimes in Conway or another city in South Carolina, it is crucial for you to understand the potential penalties involved. Possession of a controlled substance may fall under the category of a misdemeanor, but many drug offenses are considered felonies. Even a minor drug offense conviction can result in long-lasting negative consequences. As such, it's always advisable to explore your options and seek the assistance of a Conway drug crime attorney. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help safeguard your rights and may help achieve a favorable outcome.

One of the most frequent questions we hear at Theos Law is, "What does possession mean?"

Drug charges based on possession in South Carolina are divided into three categories:

  • Simple Possession
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute
  • Drug Trafficking

However, the state also has other drug charges that are not based on the weight of the drugs. These include:

  • Drug Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution Near Schools, Parks, or Playgrounds
Criminal Defense Lawyer Conway, SC

Possession-based drug charges in South Carolina are deemed "graduated offenses" with penalties that grow more severe based on the weight of the drugs. It's important to note that the charges can be based on either actual or constructive possession. Contact a criminal defense lawyer in Conway, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in Conway and other cities in South Carolina.

Some of the most common drug charges we see at Theos Law include the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD and Hallucinogens
  • Cocaine
  • Meth
  • Prescription Pain Killers
  • Fentanyl
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Can I be Arrested for Drug Paraphernalia in South Carolina?

The simple answer to this question is a resounding "Yes." Drug paraphernalia can refer to various items such as pipes, bongs, syringes, scales, grinders, and rolling papers which are linked to drug usage, preparation, storage, or hiding. Even though some of these items may have legitimate uses, like tobacco pipes or medical syringes, they can still be scrutinized by law enforcement if there is proof of illegal drug use or intent.

Criminal Defense for Assault and Battery Cases in South Carolina

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If you are facing assault and battery charges, it is possible that you haven't actually physically harmed someone. Many people associate assault and battery with brutal beatings, but that is just one example. There are other situations that are less severe than what people typically imagine.

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It's a common misunderstanding that physical injury is required for assault and battery charges. The fines, penalties, and jail time you may face depend on the severity of your charges and the number of offenses. Regardless of the degree of your charges, Assault and Battery is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. The consequences of a conviction can be life-changing, and as such, your criminal defense lawyer in Conway, SC, should work relentlessly to fight the charges being levied against you.

Though this list isn't comprehensive, here are some of the biggest factors that dictate the severity of your assault and battery charges:

  • Age of Victim
  • Severity of Injuries Sustained
  • Size and Weight of Accused vs. Size and Weight of Victim
  • Whether or Not the Victim Presses Charges
  • Whether or Not Weapons Were Involved
  • Whether or Not the Victim's Privates Were Touched

Understanding the Degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina

Third Degree

Causing harm to someone or threatening to do so with the ability to carry out the threat can result in a charge of third-degree assault and battery. This misdemeanor offense is typically heard in municipal or magistrate courts and may carry a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail.

Second Degree

Causing harm or making threats to harm someone that results in moderate bodily injury can lead to charges of second-degree assault and battery. Additionally, touching someone's private parts without their consent can also result in charges of assault and battery in the second degree. This misdemeanor offense is heard in General Session court and can carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

First Degree

Assault and Battery in the first degree can involve a number of actions such as inflicting an unlawful injury when kidnapping, touching a person's privates "with lewd and lascivious intent," and much more. Contact Theos Law Firm for more info on the degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina.

Everyone Deserves a Reliable Criminal Defense Attorney in Conway, SC

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At Theos Law firm, we work tirelessly to ensure that our client's rights are not overlooked. Because unfortunately, the rights of everyday citizens are often trampled by law enforcement oversights and legal system failures.

That's why every criminal defense lawyer at our firm works hard to provide guidance and support throughout the legal process by keeping you informed of updates and as comfortable as possible during this trying time. Benefits of hiring Theos Law Firm include:

  • Thorough Knowledge of South Carolina Criminal Law & Procedures
  • Seasoned Legal Representation in the Courtroom
  • Years of Experience Structuring Plea bargains
  • Ability to Identify Due Process Violations
  • Fierce Dedication to Clients & Vigorous Representation
  • Skilled Negotiation Tactics Involved with Bail, Sentencing, Appeals, and More
  • Familiarity with Local Prosecutors

Unlike some criminal defense law firms in South Carolina, our team believes that everyone deserves a great lawyer when their freedoms are on the line. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in South Carolina, trust Theos Law to have your back without judgment.

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Latest News in Conway, SC

No trick: SC city changes its name to Halloween, gives boost to businesses

CONWAY — Tony Zack did a quick doubletake as he rounded the corner of Laurel Street and Second Avenue during his Monday evening walk.Why was a 10-foot skeleton standing beside the city planning office? By the time he noticed the plastic pumpkin-laden trees and the 12-foot grim reaper scarecrow, it clicked: Conway was again dressing up as Halloween.“They named the city Halloween,” said Zack, who has lived in Conway for about 17 years. “I know it was just (a stunt, but) it’s a lot of fun. It’s ...

CONWAY — Tony Zack did a quick doubletake as he rounded the corner of Laurel Street and Second Avenue during his Monday evening walk.

Why was a 10-foot skeleton standing beside the city planning office? By the time he noticed the plastic pumpkin-laden trees and the 12-foot grim reaper scarecrow, it clicked: Conway was again dressing up as Halloween.

“They named the city Halloween,” said Zack, who has lived in Conway for about 17 years. “I know it was just (a stunt, but) it’s a lot of fun. It’s just different.”

Rebranding Conway as the city of Halloween is also lucrative. What started as a gimmick by local officials last year to generate some seasonal buzz morphed into a monthlong celebration that provided a boost in fall tourism to the city of 27,000-plus.

Conway officials reported an 18 percent average increase in retail and restaurant sales, and a nearly 6 percent increase in hospitality revenue. The city’s downtown saw more than 20 times the number of visitors that it did the previous October.

“This little thing that we did that really didn’t cost us anything was huge for the city,” said City Administrator Adam Emrick, who is scheduled to speak next month at the International City/County Management Association conference in Austin, Texas. His session is titled “Halloween, South Carolina: How we won October.”

Unlike South Carolina’s tourism engine on the coast, Conway, which sits about 15 miles outside Myrtle Beach, doesn’t see big summer crowds. For many beachbound tourists, the city is essentially a gas stop on the way to the ocean.

Recognizing Conway’s peak tourism season runs from September through May, city officials in recent years refocused their marketing, promoting events in the fall, winter and spring.

“When we made that change, it changed everything for us as a downtown and we have seen so many returns on those investments, and we want to continue to do that,” said Hillary Howard, executive director of Conway Downtown Alive, which promotes city tourism. “We want people to be proud of where they live. We want people to come visit them because they live in Conway, not because they’re close to the beach.”

The idea for a seasonal rebranding emerged in January 2022 when Emrick was planning the city’s fall events.

Conway had already enhanced its decorating by placing hundreds of plastic jack-o-lanterns in trees in 2019 and later hanging black hats over the fountain beside City Hall to create a “witches’ garden.”

“We were trying to figure out how we were going to up the ante,” Emrick said. “We just couldn’t figure out what we were going to do. What are we going to do to make it more?”

Emrick had previously tweaked the design of the city logo, adding ghosts and bats to make it look like a haunted house for October promotions. He started the same task again, this time looking for something more powerful, something iconic. On a whim, he substituted the city’s name with Halloween.

“That looks awesome,” he remembers thinking. “What if we did that?”

He asked other city staff and they liked the idea. Then he called the mayor. She was in, too.

For the month of October, Conway would be called Halloween.

With everyone on board, Emrick began planning what he dubbed Project October. The idea wasn’t just to temporarily change the city’s name, but to build a calendar of community events focused on the season. The goal was to encourage businesses and nonprofits to join in the fun, so it wasn’t just a bunch of city-sponsored festivities.

City officials asked the organizer of the Christmas boat parade to offer a Halloween boat parade. They went to First United Methodist Church and asked them to plan an event around the church’s pumpkin patch. The chamber of commerce’s annual meeting even took on a Halloween theme.

City officials also looked for gaps in the schedule. Where there were voids, they scheduled movie showings and created a haunted trail called the Forest of Fear.

“I do think downtown Conway does lend itself to the spooky season with our live oak trees and our dripping Spanish moss and our spooky alleyways,” said Howard of Conway Downtown Alive. “It just lends itself to this type of décor, so why not play up on the assets you have, right?”

Conway takes steps to create first-ever manmade Carolina Bay, named it after project’s visionary

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) -- The city of Conway will look to create the first-ever manmade Carolina Bay in hopes of building a more flood-resilient future.City leaders say former Public Works Director, Kevin Chestnut was the true visionary for this project.Chestnut retired in 2020 after an ALS diagnosis, but his former coworkers refused to sit back and give up on his vision.“Not only has Kevin been invaluable for this project he’s one of the greatest city workers Conway ever seen,” said Mayor Barbara Blane-Be...

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) -- The city of Conway will look to create the first-ever manmade Carolina Bay in hopes of building a more flood-resilient future.

City leaders say former Public Works Director, Kevin Chestnut was the true visionary for this project.

Chestnut retired in 2020 after an ALS diagnosis, but his former coworkers refused to sit back and give up on his vision.

“Not only has Kevin been invaluable for this project he’s one of the greatest city workers Conway ever seen,” said Mayor Barbara Blane-Bellamy.

In 2018 many of the homes in this Conway community sat several feet underwater brought on by Hurricane Florence. Many residents in the area chose to have their property bought out by FEMA leaving the city with very few options to repurpose this nearly eight acres of land.

However, Chestnut saw an opportunity to engineer a manmade Carolina Bay surrounded by natural wetlands capable of storing stormwater to help alleviate flooding from the Crabtree Canal.

“Kevin could always see things other people could not so we’re not just gonna build a stormwater pond with a chain-link fence around it we’re gonna make this something the city can enjoy,” said Deputy City Administrator, Mary Catherine Hyman.

To show their appreciation, the city unveiled a sign, cementing Chestnut’s legacy to this project forever. While he appreciates the honor, he says it was never about him.

“It means a lot after years of flooding in Conway and I always wanted to do more for the residents who were impacted,” said Chestnut.

Residents like April O’Leary. She stayed in Conway and founded Horry County Rising after being flooded out by Hurricane Florence.

“The fact that they’re adding some recreational space where families can come brings a tremendous amount of value back to our community which lost so much and that’s really important,” said O’Leary.

The project is expected to start the engineering phase next year and Chestnut hopes his vision will become a flood resiliency blueprint for more communities.

“To see this actually being done and offer people some help it sure means a lot,” said Chestnut.

Conway was able to secure over $2 million in FEMA grant funding earlier this year to get this project started.

Phase 1 will start next year which is primarily just engineering.

You will start to see more physical construction on what will become “Chestnut Bay” in 2025.

Copyright 2023 WMBF. All rights reserved.

A look at larger developments on the table for the city of Conway

Two large-scale projects — which are moving through the formal process of potentially being annexed — could come to the city of Conway, bringing hundreds of residential units.The separate projects include more than 480 acres at U.S. 378 and Juniper Bay Road, as well as the Warden Station project that the city has been working with developers on since last year.While the U.S. 378 proposed project hasn’t gone before city leaders at this point, the Warden Station project has caught the attention of nearby neighbo...

Two large-scale projects — which are moving through the formal process of potentially being annexed — could come to the city of Conway, bringing hundreds of residential units.

The separate projects include more than 480 acres at U.S. 378 and Juniper Bay Road, as well as the Warden Station project that the city has been working with developers on since last year.

While the U.S. 378 proposed project hasn’t gone before city leaders at this point, the Warden Station project has caught the attention of nearby neighbors who fear the development will cause flooding and say the area’s infrastructure can’t handle more traffic.

But developers, who have worked with city staff to draft a development agreement, say the agreement is similar to a conservation subdivision or a type of subdivision meant to preserve land by creating smaller clusters of lots and smaller lots to conserve more open spaces.

“It’s not [a] conservation subdivision, but we took many of the aspects of the conservation subdivision regulations and incorporated those into our planned development district that we are proposing,” said Felix Pitts, an engineer with G3 Engineering who is representing the developer.

Some city council members have said the project’s outcome may be better than if it were located within unincorporated Horry County, citing the city’s design standards.

“People need to understand the growth is coming, and if it’s going to happen anyway, it’s better to happen in the city of Conway where design guideline standards are exponentially higher than that of Horry County,” said councilman William Goldfinch. “It’s better than what it otherwise may be.”

Goldfinch added that the longtime residents should not have to bear the cost of infrastructure improvements and new residents should be sharing those costs.

This week, the city council also unanimously approved an incentive application for a new hotel, the Holiday Inn at the University. The proposed 94- room hotel could be built at the corner of Highway 544 and Buccaneers Cove near Coastal Carolina University. City documents state the application is eligible for a seven-year reimbursement for the hospitality fees and property taxes.

The two residential development projects are the projects over 150 acres that have been formally submitted to the city recently, officials said.

Here’s a detailed look at those projects.

Warden Station

The proposed project could bring 1,763 acres of property into the city near Highway 701 South and Pitch Landing Road. Developers initially proposed 3,200 units that include both houses and multifamily dwellings.

The applicants deferred the project at the city’s last planning commission meeting to give staff more time to review the applicants’ responses to staff comments, Pitts said.

After going back and forth hearing opinions from the public as well as city staff, Pitts said the applicants are pursuing a planned development district incorporating aspects that may be seen in a conservation subdivision. Those include no residential development within areas designated as flood zones, “significant” open space contribution to the city of Conway with 150 acres of upland for parks and outdoor recreation in addition to 300 acres of wetlands, perimeter buffers around the entire project similar to conservation subdivision regulations, and voluntarily buffering existing wetlands, Pitts said.

City documents state the property includes nearly 724 acres of wetlands and 507 acres within a flood zone. Some of these overlap.

Pitts said the plans will allow for intersection improvements and other benefits.

“We’re never going to be able to do anything to stop development, but the question is: Does this property get developed with no master planning, helter skelter overtime and then the city of Conway gets all of the deficits really and none of the benefits? … That’s sort of what this is about, being able to control their own destiny," he said.

Nearby residents say they are concerned about flooding and more traffic. A traffic study was conducted, recommending offsite road improvements at different signalized intersections.

Debbie Kepley, who lives on Pitch Landing Drive, said she’s concerned about runoff onto her property and believes Highway 701 South is not prepared.

“We’ve gone down so many rabbit holes about all of the problems that this would cause,” she said.

“We’re not against it, per se, we want to be sure they are taking on all and getting professional opinions. This is not an area in which we can afford for it not to be done right.”

As the proposal progresses, local advocacy group Horry County Rising gave their input, requesting the developers create wider wetland buffers and help mitigate historical flooding.

The group’s leader April O’Leary said overall, her group’s concerns were addressed by the developers.

“From a riverine standpoint, riverine flooding, I’m really not too concerned with the riverine flooding,” she said. “It’ll actually hold more water than what the parcel currently holds.”

However, O’Leary said she is concerned about flash flooding and the possibility of Pitch Landing not being able to handle more people and boats.

The public’s chance to talk about the annexation and rezoning for this project has passed, but there is still a chance for those to express their opinions about the development agreement.

A second public hearing is scheduled to be held during the city council’s Sept. 18 meeting.

The rezoning and annexation request is required to receive a recommendation from planning commission. From there, it must have two favorable readings from city council before being finalized. The same is true for the development agreement.

Both of the proposals could appear on the next planning commission meeting agenda Sept. 7.

U.S. 378 development

An annexation and rezoning application was submitted to city officials, proposing to bring in multiple parcels that make up roughly 486 acres, mostly along U.S. 378 and Juniper Bay Road.

The applicants — Lennar Carolinas and Thomas and Hutton — are requesting a land development agreement that would allow for the properties to be annexed and rezoned for single-family detached dwellings, single-family attached dwellings, townhomes and commercial uses.

Conway leaders discuss what’s next for Warden Station proposed development off U.S. 701 South

Conway leaders and developers worked Monday toward a happy medium over the proposed development off U.S. 701 South that could bring more than 3,300 residential units.City council and the developer’s representatives discussed enhancement fees and city staff’s concerns over stormwater and traffic during a workshop session.Officials are hoping to lock down a figure for enhancement fees, with the help of a fiscal study, so the city council can potentially take a first vote in December on the property being annexed and r...

Conway leaders and developers worked Monday toward a happy medium over the proposed development off U.S. 701 South that could bring more than 3,300 residential units.

City council and the developer’s representatives discussed enhancement fees and city staff’s concerns over stormwater and traffic during a workshop session.

Officials are hoping to lock down a figure for enhancement fees, with the help of a fiscal study, so the city council can potentially take a first vote in December on the property being annexed and rezoned.

Last month, city leaders delayed the vote on the planned project that could bring the development to south Conway — what would be the largest development in the city's history.

The proposed development, also known as the Warden Station Tract, may add 1,763 acres of property for residential use into the city near Highway 701 South and Pitch Landing Road. Developers have proposed 3,318 units that include houses, townhouses and multifamily dwellings over the next 25 years.

The request for annexation and rezoning involves multiple parcels of land, with the largest being a roughly 1,637 acre parcel, Horry County land records state. The parcel was sold by International Paper Corp to Landbank XIV LLC in 2006 for $24.6 million.

On Monday, city officials said they plan to hold another workshop during a council meeting next month. From there, the annexation and rezoning request and development agreement could go to city council for a first reading as early as Dec. 4.

But city officials on Monday said they wanted clarity about the proposed neighborhood's future impacts before a vote was taken, and asked engineers and an attorney representing the developer to conduct a study.

This study would help city council determine enhancement fees — a one-time fee property owners would pay when they purchase a home in the neighborhood that would be part of the development agreement. Officials are hoping to save time by building off of a study conducted in 2007.

Discussion on Monday also included a potential municipal improvement district (MID), which would be a recurring tax property owners within the district would pay. It could be roughly a decade before a MID is put into place, officials said.

The city plans to procure an attorney to assist with the development agreement.

Funds collected from enhancement fees and a potential MID could be used toward public safety and widening U.S. 701 South, which is currently a two-lane road where the property is located.

“I’m all for [it] on the upfront,” Councilman William Goldfinch said of enhancement fees.

Shep Guyton, an attorney representing the developer, said enhancement fees depend on what services will be required from the city for a particular project.

The city does not plan to provide utilities to the proposed neighborhood, and the developer’s representatives said they plan to seek water from Bucksport Water System. City officials have said if the property is annexed into city limits, all city services with the exception of water and sewer would be provided to the neighborhood.

The developer would begin site work within 18 months of the property being rezoned and annexed, city officials said. One-fifth of the project would be completed within the first five years, and the subsequent phases would be completed over the next 20 years.

The property is not on Conway’s future land use map – a map that leaders use to guide the future of the city. The properties are, however, on the county’s future land use map as scenic and conservation, rural and rural communities.

City documents state the property includes nearly 724 acres of wetlands and 507 acres within a flood zone. Some of these overlap. A portion of the wetlands would later be deeded to the city. According to the site plans, there would be no building within the flood zone.

In recent months, residents have expressed concerns about flooding, infrastructure that may not be able to handle more traffic and a lack of public safety to handle a growing population.

But some city leaders have warned that if this development isn’t in city limits, the city will not be deeded 500 acres of protected land and there wouldn’t be a park within the neighborhood — a promise made by the developers, contingent upon the property being annexed into city limits.

Over the last few months, the city’s planning commission has discussed the proposed project and development agreement. In September, the commission gave favorable recommendations on both the rezoning and annexation requests and the development agreement, voting 6-2 in favor with changes based on staff’s and the commission’s recommendations.

Those changes include sidewalk additions in some areas, the completion of a spine road throughout the development and requiring the developer to pay 100% for road improvements.

Planning commission also voted 6-2 to approve the development agreement between the city and developer.

The city council will now refine the agreement and make decisions on any enhancement fees that would go toward public safety, sanitation, parks and recreation, and planning and development.

The request for annexation and rezoning would need two favorable votes from council. The city will also have to take separate votes on the development agreement.

Other council business

City council voted against a rezoning and annexation request Monday that would have brought a hot-mix asphalt plant into city limits near the Wild Wing community.

Wild Wing neighbors, who have expressed concerns about the operations at the plant, again shared with city leaders Monday issues they've experienced stemming from the operations at 154 Winyah Road, which include noise, large amounts of dust and concerns over air quality, and negative impacts to the area's wildlife.

But city officials said that any remedy would need to be addressed through the court system.

"This is a no-win situation here," said Councilman Justin Jordan, who asked what the city could do to assist in addressing the neighbors' concerns.

Will Conway accept one of the largest developments in Horry County history? What to know

A team behind the largest planned development in Conway’s modern history will have another month to finalize its sales pitch as grassroots opposition builds.Over the next 25 years, Fort Mill-based BRD Land & Investment hopes to transform more than 1,700 acres bounded by S.C. Highway 701, Kinlaw Lane and Pitch Landing Road into a massive mixed-u...

A team behind the largest planned development in Conway’s modern history will have another month to finalize its sales pitch as grassroots opposition builds.

Over the next 25 years, Fort Mill-based BRD Land & Investment hopes to transform more than 1,700 acres bounded by S.C. Highway 701, Kinlaw Lane and Pitch Landing Road into a massive mixed-use community with 3,300 homes and nearly 1.4 million square feet of commercial space.

But rather than build the project in Horry County, developers want what’s tentatively named Warden Station to become part of Conway — a lengthier process that requires annexation and approval of a development agreement that runs some 500 pages.

Given the project’s scope, planning officials set an Aug. 3 date to consider the annexation request and make their suggestion to the city council.

But hours before that meeting was to begin, the proposal was pushed to Sept. 7.

“It could be developed in Horry County with no control on the part of the city, so you end up having to deal with all the problems that could be created while not getting any contribution, any additional open space, nothing else that benefits the city,” Robert “Shep” Guyton, an attorney representing BRD Land & Investment, told the town’s planning commission on July 13.

“There’s value in the brand of being in Conway,” Guyton said. “You all have created a name that does add value, it’s where people want to live. Horry County of itself doesn’t have an identity.”

If Conway approves the deal, the development would include the following:

Outside the city’s planning offices on Aug. 3, Elaine Kemp stood clutching a stack of petitions collected from dozens of residents who are against the venture. She’s also administrator of “Conway People for Responsible Building,” a Facebook watchdog group.

Long-time residents like Tim Wolfe, who lives off Pitch Landing Road, said despite the developer’s accommodations, such heavy use in the rural area would affect his quality of life.

“Most of the people I know that live down in this area, we don’t want another Carolina Forest, and that’s exactly what this place is going to turn into,” Wolfe said.

A traffic study included as part of the development plan shows annual daily trips of 7,800 on Pitch Landing Road and 16,600 on S.C. Highway 701 — figures expected to nearly double by 2050.

“Traffic control all along the coast in this area, not just in Conway, is a problem,” said Conway resident Sam Viola. “Car insurance is skyrocketing in state. Homeowners’ insurance is skyrocketing in the state.”

This story was originally published August 3, 2023, 8:03 PM.

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