MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Highway 501 is the gateway into Myrtle Beach. Hundreds of thousands of people use the road to travel to the Grand Strand for their vacation. It's a depressing, blighted entrance to an area that is otherwise blessed with an overabundance of natural beauty.
Consider This: Highway 501 is a case study on the negative impact of loose zoning and lack of planning and a strong justification to revise the state's antiquated annexation rules. The City of Myrtle Beach is finally working to develop a plan to address this issue. The Highway 501 Corridor Committee will discuss and come up with new standards and future guidelines for the businesses and areas along the busy roadway.
However, this group will only focus on the area from the Intracoastal Waterway to Broadway in downtown Myrtle Beach. The welcome mat should really begin at Lake Busbee in Conway and extend to Kings Highway. Conway, Horry County and Myrtle Beach need to create a joint task force to develop a consistent plan that applies to all properties in that zone. Just look to Orlando as an example of how to do it the right way.
So keep your fingers crossed that this is the first step towards a new look and rather than an ugly, neglected entrance, our guests will be greeted with an entrance that says welcome, we're glad you chose the Grand Strand as your vacation destination.