Divided Neighborhood to voice concerns about new city ordinance

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) The City of Myrtle Beach has put signs up and down Carver Street to let residents know about a public hearing Tuesday to prevent nightclubs and alcohol bars from opening up in neighborhoods.

As representatives with the City move forward with an ordinance they want to hear input from everyone before a final decision is made.

This comes after members of the neighborhood complained about the nightclubs and alcohol use in the area. Some say the clubs are right next to their homes and children's day cares. But before anything is done the city wants to hear the public's concerns as they research the best way to solve the problem. Right now there is one business on Carver Street that legally sells alcohol, and it will be allowed to continue operating. Some of the residents say the ordinance is necessary for the neighborhood, while other residents say stopping clubs will only bring the violence elsewhere.

"If you don't have clubs, where are you gonna go," said neighborhood resident Ernest West. "So I want more clubs...let's put it that way."

Myrtle Beach officials say situations like this arise because the city has a lot of commercial activity and a lot of residential activity. And because it has more commercial activity for its size, the two can clash. While zoning can't stop what's already set up, it can help shape neighborhoods in the future. In situations like the one on Carver Street, residents do have options when they alert the city. The Myrtle Beach Planning Commission has to research the different businesses and residents in the area, and look into how close they are together. Getting this background information can be a long process, as the city has to map out a solution that works for owners trying to open up businesses and the people living in the neighborhood.

"In this particular instance the neighborhood came to the city and said, help," said Myrtle Beach Public Information Officer Mark Kruea. "We'd like to not have alcohol sales in our neighborhood. We'd like to not have bars or nightclubs in our immediate neighborhood. And that's what the city council and the planning commission are working from."

The pending ordinance for Carver Street is still being researched, and the city of Myrtle Beach expects it will be around four months before anything is finalized. The public hearing is at 1:30 p.m. at Myrtle Beach City Hall.

Copyright 2011 WMBF News. All Rights Reserved.