Council debates tents, umbrellas on NMB beaches

North Myrtle Beach, SC - By Trey Paul - bio | email

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – North Myrtle Beach leaders discussed a plan that would restrict where beach tents and umbrellas can be set up on the shoreline in a workshop Monday night.

According to North Myrtle Beach spokesperson Nicole Aiello, a vote was not taken Monday night because there were suggestions that the wording of the ordinance be changed.  Discussion by Mayor Hatley and Councilman Greg Duckworth suggested a total ban of tents, while Council member Robert Cavanaugh was apposed to the idea of a total ban.

Since the wording of the proposed ordinance cannot be changed in a special meeting or workshop like the one held Monday, council members

The proposed ordinance arose after NMB lifeguards and emergency responders made numerous complaints to city officials about tents and umbrellas obstructing views of swimmers and getting in the way of safety vehicles patrolling the beach.

The North Myrtle Beach City Council originally debated two rules - one would require beach goers to place tents and umbrellas even with or behind lifeguard stations; the second would restrict tents and umbrellas from being set up within 20 feet of the dune, where emergency vehicle patrol.

"I have small children," said Amy Van Dam. "I want the lifeguard to be able to see them."

Husband Mark agreed: "I think if the ordinance were to say, 'Keep it behind the lifeguard station' and folks learn where that is, I don't think they will have a problem following that rule."

Violators would face a $250 fine, 30 days in jail, or both.

"We would hate to lose the canopy, but don't mind following the rules to keep it," Mark said.

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