Myrtle Beach considers 'floating zone' with relaxed regulations - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Myrtle Beach considers 'floating zone' with relaxed regulations to spur business

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Even with thousands of businesses around Myrtle Beach, there's still plenty of room for more. For some, coming in, figuring out the zoning, and actually starting up here isn't always the easiest process.

“Dealing with paperwork and that kind of stuff was a little bit difficult…it took longer than expected or anticipated,” said Renae Lewis, who's friends just opened a new business off Ocean Boulevard.

Myrtle Beach has a new idea that could change that.

City Planner Allison Hardin says soon, the city will present its new idea of what's called a "floating zone." That zone would be in the heart of the city between 6th Avenue South and 16th Avenue North in what's known as the Downtown Redevelopment Corp.

In it, the city would no longer go strictly by the book when it comes to zoning new businesses.

“It is totally open to negotiation with the city council,” explained city planner Allison Hardin.

Under current codes, new businesses like 3D printing or other tech startups could be hard to zone in parts of Myrtle Beach. They fall under manufacturing zones, but don't really fit that mold.

This new flexibility would give developers a chance to argue their case and come to town.

“One of the things our current code doesn't take into account yet is the change in technology and how people do business and how people make things,” said Hardin.

The city says the end goal with this new flexibility is simple, redevelop and reinvigorate the downtown area. So one day, some of the empty buildings you see now will be full of new, thriving businesses.

“I think it's a really good idea to kind of loosen that up a little bit to be able to get some more people in these local empty buildings,” said Renae Lewis in reaction to the idea.

At this point, this is just an idea and would have to be approved by city council and the planning commission.

If you want to add input to the process, you can head to the public meeting next Tuesday at 1:30 in the Myrtle Beach Train Depot.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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