Re-writing zoning in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, SC - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach city planners are trying to narrow down what residents want the city to look like in the coming years and plan a public hearing to look at re-writing the city's zoning laws.

City planners say they've spent almost two years reviewing current zoning laws and trying to make new ones based on a comprehensive plan adopted by the city.  They say as long as it took to write the draft of laws, it will take even longer before the vision is fully seen.

"At this point, the only differences people are going to see is on paper," said Kelly Messapelle, Myrtle Beach city planner. "Zoning code isn't like a magic wand where we'll wave it and all of a sudden the whole town will change."

Messapelle says the changes will happen as property is re-developed over time, and if the plan is passed as is, commercial areas will see most of the changes.

The current draft calls for three commercial districts within the city, an industrial district, a highway commercial district and a mixed use district. Planners say the industrial district would remain along the Seaboard Street area and by the airport. The highway commercial district would focus on US-17, and the mixed use area that would allow for an assortment of along Kings Highway and Ocean Boulevard.

"You can put in an apt building you can put in a shot, but the guy next to you on his property, he might put in an apt building or shop," added Messapelle.

The plan also calls for an increase in heights to 240-foot max and would encourage more restaurants and shops along the boulevard. It would create more of a live and work type environment. She says overall, the plan is to have a better Myrtle Beach for visitors and those who live here.

"It's much more of a place where you can live work and play, or if you're driving into the district to shop, you can park your car get out and walk along Kings Highway and it will be a pleasant experience. We don't have that now," added Messapelle.

Planners will hear public comments on the draft on March 23 at 6 p.m. at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

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