North Myrtle Beach city leaders considering overlay district

NMB considers overlay district

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - North Myrtle Beach city leaders passed the first reading of an ordinance that would amend the city’s zoning ordinance to establish an overlay district.

Molly Darcy’s Irish Pub and Restaurant has called North Myrtle Beach home for more than a decade. Owner Thomas Snee said he’s seen the area transform and grow over the years.

“I think they’ve done a brilliant job here at modernizing and yet keeping that old feel. And I think that’s very important,” said Snee.

Molly Darcy’s sits on the corner of 17th Avenue South and South Ocean Boulevard, one of the focal points of the city’s proposed overlay district.

City leaders are considering an overlay district which would outline standards for future development, including things like architecture, signage, and lighting. It’s something Snee believes is necessary.

“I think there should be some control, especially when it comes to development. The area, the Grand Strand, is growing at an alarming rate right now and if we allow developments or developers or businesses to get out of control, we could end up with a really big mess," said Snee.

The other four focus areas are Main Street, 37th Avenue South, Sea Mountain Highway and Little River Neck Road. They’re all central spots within the city’s four historic beach communities. The goal of the overlay district is to make sure future growth coincides with the city’s long-term vision.

Stephen Wall is co-owner of the Wild Seahorse, formerly the Wildflower located on Main Street. He said he’s on board with creating building standards to a degree.

“Progression is good. I think preservation is also a necessity as well. Saving the old buildings, keeping the old character of the town… a little heavy on the restriction and you might lose some of the creativity, but I think cleanliness of the buildings is a necessity," said Wall.

Overall, business owners seem to agree, creating an overlay district could be good for the future of the city.

“I think it’s good, a good idea to create standards and guidelines that people need to abide by. And I think it’s just good for everybody," said Snee.

Before any changes are made, city leaders will have to vote again on the ordinance.

Copyright 2019 WMBF. All rights reserved.