Community Appearance Board sees amusement park plans for the first time

Southwood residents say they felt being at the meeting tonight was a waste of their time

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Community Appearance Board took a first look at plans for the amusement park to take over the Myrtle Beach Shrine Club property on Restaurant Row.

"They will realize their fears won't be actual things to be concerned about," said Shep Guyton, the attorney for the developers.

There is no question the park could occupy the spot where the Myrtle Beach Shrine Club currently stands; the city's zoning law allows it. But, the board was far from impressed with the plans as they were.

"Now that angle is...assaulting me even more," said Larry Bragg, the Chairman of the CAB, as he looked over the plans.

Though understanding of the type of the attraction, board members asked for a happy medium between tacky and what would fit in with the surrounding neighborhoods.

"Show us, in your planning, that you are paying attention to the surrounding properties, the property across the waterway," said Jim Hubbard, another board member. The board wants to please both sides.

"The best, most suitable means of this land right now, has come to us, as like a blessing, and we're able to contribute if this passes you folks, we can go ahead and contribute to a sizable about of money to crippled children," Don Myers said. Myers has been a member of the Shrine Club for many years and is very much in favor of the project.

However, some are especially concerned after thinking the plans were thrown out for good.

"And all of the sudden it's back in to the system here. So what it brings to my attention is this, are we dealing with something that is above board, or are we just going around in circles, going behind the backs looking at other ways to get this done?" Greg Toliver asked.

The attorney for the park developers, Shep Guyton, explains a plan B was always in the works.

"Well actually we submitted two days after the PUD [Planned Unit Development] was withdrawn. We always knew an alternative would be to go under straight zoning," Guyton said.

The board is hopeful things will change as plans progress.

"The community is going to have to find a way to get behind that you've turned something that was so negative into a positive," Hubbard said.

The architect for the park is expected to come back with a new real life look of what will be standing at the Myrtle Beach Shrine Club.

The next Community Appearance meeting will be November 20, but as city spokesperson Mark Kruea explained, that doesn't mean the architect will be ready by then.

As soon as the architect submits the new plan, he will be added to a meeting's agenda.

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