MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A discussion on possible zoning changes could bring more tourists to the south end of Myrtle Beach. The Planning Commission is looking into allowing them to have a new way to stay in the area, through weekly vacation rental homes.
It may sound like a good idea to revitalize the south end of Myrtle Beach, but some are concerned this issue will bring in a lot more than just new colorful rental homes. This would be the area from William Street to 29th Avenue South between Ocean Boulevard and Yaupon Drive. Local year-round homeowners in this area aren't welcoming the idea of new, constantly-changing neighbors.
"There are obvious issues and concerns about how this will impact us," exclaimed Craig Teller, a local homeowner with the South End Neighborhood Watch.
In the past, Teller says Yaupon Drive has been known to be the home of many crimes.
"We wouldn't go a day without a significant crime going down on this end of the beach," Teller added.
But he said the more than 200 people involved in the neighborhood watch have worked hard recently to push that activity out, and they're seeing results.
"Crime has been reduced to the point where we go weeks without any kind of significant crime," explained Teller.
With the possibility of a constant stream of visitors coming in and out of the area each week, some are worried it will wipe away all that progress.
One resident even emailed the city, stating, "I see nowhere that the they would improve the quality of life in this area, nor is it needed."
The Myrtle Beach Planning Commission will meet Tuesday afternoon, and planners insist they're considering all that might move in with the change.
"We don't want to not allow a growth that might be appropriate in the area," said Allison Hardin, a planner with the city. "We want to look at it as balanced as we can."
The options are to allow for transient accommodations in the area as well as more residential homes, create a new zone for Residential Multifamily with visitor accommodations, or leave the current zoning in place and allow regulations for short-term rentals.
Members of the community also plan to meet Tuesday, to protect where they live.
Teller said they will be there "to make sure everybody knows what's going on and how that will impact the safety of neighborhood."
The Planning Commission meeting will be Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at The Myrtle Beach City Hall. The Seaside Village and Savannah Park neighborhoods will also discuss the issue at the South End Neighborhood Watch meeting, Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Compass Cove Resort. Then the city will hold an official public hearing for the zoning changes on March 18.