No official decision yet on beach tents in the city or county

Discussion continues on tent ban on Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Official word yet on whether or not beach-goers will be allowed to bring their beach tent to Myrtle Beach or Horry County beaches is still not set in stone.

During the Myrtle Beach City Council workshop Tuesday, council members didn't make any decision on beach tents.

The City Council is considering three options put on the table: One option is do nothing concerning the beach tents, the second option is to not allow beach tents from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and the third option was to only allow them in residential sections of the beach, but not in commercial areas.

Horry County Council members also discussed beach tents on Tuesday, and nothing was officially decided there either. County council members are looking at two options. The first is to ban them completely from the 14 miles of beaches the county covers, or just ban them from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Both the city and county council members will discuss this issue again on March 11.

DeeAnn Sarver, who co-owns Boardwalk Coffee House, worries that if the city does ban the tents, it might appear like year-round residents are being unfriendly to guests.

"I think they are fine," Sarver said. "I've never seen a problem anytime I've gone down on the beach having them up. It seems like the families are enjoying them, and especially if they have little ones, or if they're elderly and can't be in the full sun. I think it's pretty nice."

The worry for many council members is that the use of beach tents can block emergency access points for vehicles. If the ban is put into place, it will be up to Beach Patrol and lifeguards to enforce it.

Hannah Houston works at Lack's Beach Service, which patrols all portions of the Grand Strand. She said whatever is decided by the county and city, they'll be happy to enforce, but the sooner the official word comes down, the better.

"I hope it was established before we get out on the beach, so we know what we are going to do, what rules we are enforcing, because that's the main key to safety," said Houston, who is in charge of training and recruiting the lifeguards.

The earliest Horry County Council will be have a decision made is April 15, and the earliest the city of Myrtle Beach will have something decided will be March 25.

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