Myrtle Beach halts new clubs and bars from moving in superblock - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Myrtle Beach halts new clubs and bars from moving in superblock area

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -  The City of Myrtle Beach is pushing to improve the downtown area, specifically the spot known as the "superblock,”  and part of that is controlling the types of businesses allowed to move in.

The city has found, the area between 8th Avenue North, Broadway, 501 and Main Street, has become a bit of a trouble spot. There are a handful of bars and nightclubs the city feels play a factor in crime, and hinder other businesses from moving in.

A new ordinance, voted unanimously by city council, puts a halt on issuing business licenses for new clubs, or bars which allow more than 150 people, from setting up shop in the area.

"This is supposed to be a family beach, you know where families could come feel safe, have a good time, enjoy the sun, the fun and I would like to see more families walking around here,” Hair by Midtown Owner Marie Sahnger said.

The Myrtle Beach image is one reason behind this, crime is another.

"The bar across the street here, they had a man shot and killed. Just a couple weeks ago on the other street, which is Main Street, they had another shooting,” Sahnger said.

Since June, between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., Myrtle Beach Police officers have checked in on the area 249 times, and responded to more than 250 related calls which include disturbance disorderly, public intoxication, fights, business liquor violations, assault, narcotics, suspicious activity, to name a few.

This ordinance will buy the city time to study zoning and decide If this area is appropriate for drinking establishments.

The city said this ordinance will not impact current bars and clubs here; however, If zoning changes are made in the future, they could impact existing businesses.

“Existing businesses could be given a deadline, ultimately, by which they would have to comply with whatever new zoning may be implemented,” City Spokesperson Mark Kruea said.

Council passed the topic onto the planning commission with the request for feedback by January 2017.

"For us, our wish list is to change this area from somewhat of a problem area, to really an asset to the city I mean it really should be, again, it is the oldest part of town, it's history,” Five Points Association Vice Chair Rik Dickinson said.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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