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Land use: Where horses were barred, helicopter is proposed

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

The new owner of a lot on Petigru Drive in the Pawleys Island area has asked county officials about using the property as a helicopter base.

Alexander C. West Jr. of Hartsville, who also owns property in Litchfield, bought an 8-acre parcel at 1481 Petigru Dr. from Addie and Mark McCoy after their bid to have the land rezoned so they could board horses was denied amid a community uproar.

Part of the Petigru Drive property is zoned general residential, and the remainder is zoned for residential lots of at least 10,000 square feet. Neither zoning addresses helicopters.

“It’s kind of like the film ordinance,” Boyd Johnson, the county planning director, said. “It’s never been a problem before.”

Johnson said he told West that he would have to build a house on the property in order to proceed with a helicopter landing pad. “It would be an auxiliary structure,” he said. West is president of West Oil Co. in Hartsville and commutes to Litchfield via helicopter.

The pad would not be the first in Georgetown County. There are helicopter landing pads at houses in Prince George and DeBordieu and two in Georgetown, according to Johnson.

Residents in the Parkersville area say few people are aware of the copter’s comings and goings, but one woman said she saw it from the road. Norman Reid, an area resident who led the fight against the horse farm, said he hadn’t heard complaints about the copter.

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