Myrtle Beach, Horry County pass first reading of beach tent bans

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - On Tuesday, the Myrtle Beach City Council made the first official step on its ruling on beach tents. Soon it could be added to the list of rules you see when you come to the beach.

The City Council was expected to do a first reading for the latest ordinance regulating what it calls "shading devices," which includes beach tents and umbrellas. The ordinance council members will review proposes an all-out ban between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays, which is usually the hottest and most popular time of the year.

City spokesman Mark Kruea says the ordinance passed its first reading 5 to 1, calling for a city wide ban from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

For some frequent tourists, this new rule could be a deal breaker.

"It would deter us from coming to the beach," said Emily Jager, a frequent visitor. "Not having them, not being able to use them - we ourselves are not necessarily full sun people, so we need the little protection and the shade."

There's been several separate discussions about this issue along the Grand Strand, but the problem is it's all regarding one beach.

Different cities are moving forward and working on different beach tent bans. But since there's literally no line in the sand, the concern is different bans along the Grand Strand will confuse tourists. The Horry County Council will consider two proposed county ordinances Tuesday evening. It's between a seasonal ban or just a flat-out, year-round ban.

Because of the possible conflicts this may create, Myrtle Beach City Council might go back and make some changes based on Horry County's ultimate decision.

"We'd all like to be on the same page," explained City Spokesperson Mark Kruea. "Whatever the rule is, so it eliminates confusion and makes it easier to enforce."

The goal for the city is to have this ban be in effect this year in time for the summer season.

Horry County Council discussed the issue Tuesday night at their council meeting. A yearlong ban of beach tents passed a first reading unanimously.

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