MB Planning Commission approves new zoning ordinance

Myrtle Beach, SC - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A zoning ordinance that was last updated in 1989 is getting a facelift from leaders in Myrtle Beach, following Tuesday's approval of a new zoning ordinance and map.

City of Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea said the Myrtle Beach Planning Commission unanimously approved the proposal during a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday. Officials slightly updated the proposal with a few changes after a brief public input session.

The zoning ordinance currently enforced in Myrtle Beach has dictated where certain establishments can be built and how the buildings can be used. Due to the area's overwhelming growth in recent years, officials have been making special adjustments to meet the needs of building requests.

Officials said in addition to updates, the zoning ordinance underwent constant changes to help reflect the type of development planned for Myrtle Beach's future. A comprehensive plan for the city is in the process of being developed, and according to officials, must match zoning requirements.

"There was a lot of information, goals and strategies that came out of the comprehensive planning process that talked about making the area more pedestrian friendly," Kelly Mezzapelle, a Myrtle Beach planner, said. "In some cases, the zoning code actually didn't allow for that. We needed to really sync up the zoning code with the comprehensive plan."

A number of the zoning changes are focused on commercial corridors such as Ocean Boulevard, US-17 Business and US-17 Bypass.

"We wanted to be able to rewrite the districts in a way that you could put a restaurant next to a hotel without necessarily having to be affiliated with that hotel," Mezzapelle explained. "You could put a small shop next to a hotel, or an ice cream parlor or a candy store, or whatever it is the market calls for."

The approved zoning ordinance will also give developers more flexibility to use different types of properties throughout the city.

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