HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The second reading for the new boat landing ordinance passed without hesitation or discussion Tuesday evening, applying rules to the county's landings, and giving authorities the ability to enforce them.The second reading for the boat landing ordinance came and went so fast, some council members had to ask for clarification after the fact, asking how locals would know of the changes.
But as Chairman Mark Lazarus explained, the rules that have been there all along, this ordinance is merely a way to enforce those rules.
"We want to make it enjoyable, clean, and safe for everybody and this is just a step to do that," Lazarus said. "It's not inhibiting anybody or stopping anybody from utilizing them. It's just making our rules a little more prominent."
The ordinance is made up of three sections. The first details prohibited activities, explaining there will be no fireworks, no littering, no discharging of a weapon in a reckless manner, and no speeding or blocking the landing ramps.
The second portion of the ordinance goes through landing rules. This section reminds people landings will manly be used to bring boats in and out of the water. It also gives the county the right to get rid of any abandoned vehicle or watercraft.
"They're general rules that everybody knows exist," Lazarus explained. "I think they'll pay a little more attention to them now that they know there could be a significant fine attached to them."
The last section of the ordinance is labeled, "Penalties." It states if any person is in violation of this ordinance they will be guilty of a misdemeanor resulting in a fine that could range anywhere from $100 to $500 and up to 30 days in jail, but as Lazarus explains, there will be a grace period.
"There will be an education process. We're not going to go out and just start fining people. We're going to remind people of what the rules are and make sure people understand them," Lazarus assured.
The County has joint jurisdiction with the Department of Natural Resources to patrol the boat landings. Chairman Lazarus says the details of the ordinance will be posted on the County's website and additional signs will also be put up at all of the county boat landings when the ordinance passes.