North Myrtle Beach, SC (WMBF) - North Myrtle Beach city council members voted to ban the use of shading devices, other than umbrellas, at its meeting tonight, according to City Spokesperson Patrick Dowling.
In a statement issued by the city, it states [the new law] means, with the exception of umbrellas, tents, tarps, cabanas, pavilions, sport-brellas or devices similar to sport-brella, or any material mounted on supports are not allowed to be placed on the beach from May 15 to September 15 annually.
The new law defines an acceptable beach umbrellas as having "...a circular shade no greater than 9 feet in diameter." In the law, an umbrella is also defined as "…a collapsible circular shade consisting of a natural or synthetic fabric shade stretched over hinged ribs radiating from a central pole without grounding lines or ropes."
Public safety concerns brought attention to this issue, Dowling says.
Over the past several years, the number of tents on the beach escalated to the point where it became increasingly difficult for public safety officials to respond in a timely manner to beach related medical and other emergencies, according to a news release.