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City Council makes exception to use of tents on the beach

Posted on Feb 4, 2016

By Pat Dowling
During the February 1 North Myrtle Beach City Council meeting, City Council passed second (final) reading of an ordinance that provides an exception to the prohibition against the use of tents on the beach between May 15 and Sept. 15 by allowing “baby tents” to be placed on the beach during that time frame to provide shade only for “persons 18 months of age or under.” The ordinance also specifies that a baby tent may not be “larger than 31 inches in height by 31.5 inches in width by 38 inches in depth.”
City Council passed second reading of an ordinance to amend Chapter 20, Land Development Regulations, which exempts subdivisions of three lots or less from having to meet the Existing Adjacent Streetscapes regulation.
When it was created and approved in 2009, the regulation was intended to affect larger, major subdivisions, which have a greater impact on the community. Staff did not intend for small property owners to be saddled with unreasonable costs to improve the areas along their properties with sidewalks and street trees when applying for small-lot subdivisions. Additionally, to ensure that no one takes advantage of the exemption, the regulation enacts a retroactive installation or payment requirement for street trees and sidewalks for anyone subdividing four or more lots from the same parent tract of land within a 24 month period. (During discussion of the ordinance, some City Council members indicated that in the near future they may want to consider extending the 24 month period to 36 months.)
City Council passed second reading of an ordinance to amend Chapter 20, Land Development Regulations, of the city code. The ordinance changes the makeup of the 50 foot right-of-way cross section, which includes measured dimensions for a travel lane, curb and gutter, tree lawn and sidewalk. By adjusting the dimensions of the components that make up the 50 foot right-of-way cross section, more room is now available for public utility crews to make water meter repairs without having to disturb private property.
City Council passed first reading of an ordinance to annex and zone one lot located adjacent to the Parkway Group PDD (PDD), which is located west of the Intracoastal Waterway. Baird Stewart, authorized agent for L-Star Communities and NGD Property I/II, LLC, has petitioned the city for annexation of about 60.69 acres of property adjacent to the Waterway Hills section of the PDD. The parcel is currently within unincorporated Horry County. The petition also reflects the requested city zoning district of Planned Development District (PDD) by joining with the existing Parkway Group PDD.
The property is contiguous to the corporate boundary of the city and is zoned Commercial Forest Agriculture under Horry County’s jurisdiction. The property is vacant and unimproved. Surrounding land uses are vacant and a former golf course.
City Council passed first reading of an ordinance for a major amendment to the Parkway Group Planned Development District (PDD) to allow changes to the previously approved phase known as the Waterway Hills Tract and to add a newly annexed area known as the Wilson Chestnut Tract. The area is referred to as “Grande Dunes North” in the PDD, which is located west of the Intracoastal Waterway.
The proposed amendment reduces the previously approved density for the property from a maximum of 2,500 residential dwelling units to 858 units over a total combined area of 241.46 acres, a 65 percent reduction in housing density.
Grande Dunes North would be a private, gated neighborhood with private roadways using a guard at the entrance gate. The development would be constructed in six phases. Phase I would be the Entrance Parkway and Grande Dunes Connection, Community Amenity and 119 residential units. Phase II would be north of Phase I along the Intracoastal Waterway. Phase III and Phase V would be north of the Entrance Parkway and Phases IV and VI would be located south of the Entrance Parkway.
Second reading of the proposed ordinance will occur after an associated Development Agreement has been finalized.
City Council passed first reading of an ordinance to amend the Parkway Group Planned Development District (PDD) to allow changes to the previously approved residential tracts known as Seashore Farms and L.L. Chestnut, referred to as “Waterside” in the PDD.
The Waterside development would be constructed in 10 phases. Phase I is the most complete and plans have been provided to the city for review. Phases II through X will require further review and amendments prior to construction.
Phase I of Waterside includes three proposed neighborhoods— Pinnacle Ridge, Copper Creek and Copper Meadow. When completed, Pinnacle Ridge and Copper Creek will offer a variety of housing options, such as detached single-family homes, neighborhood commercial areas and attached single-family and multifamily homes. These neighborhoods would be connected by roadways and multi-purpose paths.
Second reading of the proposed ordinance will occur after an associated Development Agreement has been finalized.
City Council passed first reading of an ordinance to rescind the city’s current code sections regarding the type of information pawnbrokers within the city are required to maintain and electronically transfer to the city. The language that will replace the rescinded code sections is the same language used in the Horry County Code of Ordinances regarding pawnbrokers and is more comprehensive than the city’s original requirements. If the proposed ordinance passes second reading, the primary change will be that pawnbrokers will have to photograph not only the item being pawned but also the person who is pawning the item and transmit the same to the Public Safety Department.
City Council passed a motion to appoint Hunter Platt to the North Myrtle Beach Planning Commission.
City Council passed a resolution in support of the development and implementation of a Little River Neck Road and Cherry Grove Marsh Watershed Management Plan. The Little River Neck and Cherry Grove areas drain to extensive salt marshes located within the city of North Myrtle Beach and adjoining unincorporated Horry County. These marshes encompass productive fishing and shell fishing grounds commonly used by residents and tourists. The focus of the watershed plan is to identify and address sources of fecal coliform impairment that have resulted in closed shellfish beds and to pursue strategies to reduce pollutant loads. The effort will be led by the Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments with a grant from S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control. Lead partners include the city, Horry County and the Horry Soil & Water Conservation District.
City Council passed a resolution in support of Gov. Nikki Haley’s $40 million budget request for beach restoration. The governor’s proposed budget includes $40 million for beach renourishment in recognition of the importance of South Carolina beaches to the state’s tourism economy.
Hurricane Joaquin demonstrated the value of maintaining well-nourished, wide beaches with healthy dune systems in preventing extensive damage to critical infrastructure. In addition to storm protection, successful renourishment projects over the last 40 years have sustained the city’s beachfront by restoring the ecological riches, economic opportunity and quality of life for residents and visitors. City Council believes that $40 million from a new revenue source for state funded beach maintenance is a forward-looking investment.
According to a 2013 Department of Natural Resources study, the value added to South Carolina’s economy from coastal tourism amounts to about $3.5 billion annually and supports 81,000 jobs. The same study shows that in 2013 the state collected about $55 million from the two percent accommodations tax, with the four coastal counties of Horry, Beaufort, Charleston and Georgetown contributing $45 million or 88 percent of that total.
City Council passed motions to issue a special event permit for the 28th Annual North Myrtle Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, which will be held March 12 on Main Street. The parade begins at 9 a.m. and the festival runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The rain or shine event draws about 30,000 people annually. The festival offers two stages of live music and a children’s area with rides and amusements. Approximately 150 vendors will offer arts and crafts, food and more. For more information, visit www.stpatsnmb.com.


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