MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach City Council members will continue to evaluate the possibility of changing residential and commercial plans for The Market Common.
The developer, Dock Street Communities, wants to change 33 live-work units to 23 town homes, as well as converting 88 town homes to 50 single-family units in the area from Hendrick Avenue to Shine Avenue in The Market Common.
Dock Street Communities representatives told council members Tuesday this is what the market is demanding. The proposal was on the city council agenda as an ordinance to amend the master plan.
"As the world has changed, plans change and (we) need to evolve to match the market," said David Wilkes, of Dock Street Communities. "We do not see much in movement in the way of town homes and live-work town homes compared to single family homes."
However, people who already live in The Market Common said this is not what they signed up for when they moved in.
"I think they're diverting from the concept of the whole urban village," said Ed Carey, who lives in a town home in The Market Common. "I think they're rushing to go there and they're not really looking into alternative answers."
Myrtle Beach City Council members could tell who was against the proposed changes to the master plan without even hearing them speak Tuesday because people wore stickers saying, 'opposed!'
Ed Carey was one of several people to address city council. He said he's concerned about higher-priced single family houses on the more commercial side of Farrow Parkway.
"They always told us they weren't going to bring those lower densities across Farrow and put in single families," he said. "The Market Common is becoming more and more single family and it's supposed to be a diverse population and mixed uses."
Mixed uses in Carey's opinion includes small commercial businesses on the bottom of the buildings, with residential town homes above them. He said he understands the small size of the current live-work units is not ideal, so he'd like to see the developer create some alternative commercial options rather than scratch the idea of live-work units altogether.
"I think there's a good need for a gap between what sizes we have now and what's available in the big town center," he said.
Plus, Carey said the area needs those small businesses.
"These are services. Lawyers, there's a florist, realtors, hair dressers," Carey said. "Typically, a small business, it's really not going to go in the bigger town center."
Wilkes said financing is difficult to secure for live-work units since the demand just isn't there.
More live-work units would create more competition for existing businesses, he added.
"It takes a unique business operator to figure out how to use such a small footprint," Wilkes said. "How many more are there? Are there 33 more of those?"
Dock Street Communities argued the original master plan can't be set in stone.
"Plans change. I always use the adage of a football coach and they're losing at halftime," Wilkes said. "Do you think he's going to keep doing the same thing and lose the game?"
City council members decided Tuesday afternoon to hold off on voting on the first reading of the ordinance to amend the master plan to give more time for council members to talk with people living in The Market Common as well as Dock Street Communities about the plans