DHEC review could limit beach development

Myrtle Beach, SC - By Evan Lambert - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Oceanfront establishments boost business in the Grand Strand, but there could be less beach development after the results of planned proposals from the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC says too many beachfront buildings can lead to beach erosion and pave the way for dangers from hurricane damage.

The agency voted to form a panel to review current laws on beachfront development and hopes to have proposal ready by 2012.

Businesses in Myrtle Beach say that tighter restrictions will drive tourists elsewhere.

"The locale and the accessibility to the beach. I mean that's what they come here for the beach, and if you take away the hotels from the beach then of course they're gonna go somewhere else. Whether it be Charleston or Hilton Head," said Trent Ervin of Oceans One Resort in Myrtle Beach.

Tourists seem to agree, citing their proximity to the ocean as the most important part of their beach vacations.

"We've been coming here every year for at least 15 years and we have never stayed anywhere but oceanfront and I never will. Because I like looking at the ocean.  I like listening to it," said vacationer Missi Barr.

Shauna Gray says she's willing to drive for shopping or to eat, but won't sacrifice the oceanfront hotel room.

"As far as the beach I do not want to drive to the beach. I want to be already here. That's what I pay my money for," Gray said.

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