North Myrtle Beach leaders drafting comprehensive plan for next decade

North Myrtle Beach leaders drafting comprehensive plan for next decade

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - North Myrtle Beach city leaders are working out the final kinks to the comprehensive 10-year plan they will present to city council.

The plan is a blueprint of what is next for the growing city.

Leaders want to make North Myrtle Beach look better, improve quality of life, grow tourism and develop business. The plan maps out how officials will lead the city in accomplishing those goals over the next decade.

It's quite a task, but an exciting one as leaders said it's an exciting time for the area.

More money coming in from tourists, and a rise in population means North Myrtle Beach will have to make changes.

"By state law, you have to have a comprehensive plan," said Mike Wood, the city's director of planning and development. "And it's basically a guiding document that says, 'This is how we want our community to grow over our planning horizon, these are the areas that we think we need to have certain types of development, this is what we want to do with recreation and transportation, and here's how we can improve our economy.' So it's a – like the name implies - it's a comprehensive look on how the city goes forward in the future with growth and development."

Within the last five-to-seven years, the city annexed a large chunk of land for commercial and residential development for the future. What they decide to do with it will affect everyone.

North Myrtle Beach opened up a workshop-type-series of events last year that was referred to as a, "visioning process." During the sessions, business leaders were invited to talk about their vision for the next 10 years.

"One of the main things they told us in those visioning sessions is that North Myrtle Beach needs a heart," Wood said. "And they said that heart needs to be Main Street."

There was a need stressed for more parking near the beach, improving the quality of life for everyone and becoming more pedestrian-friendly.

This week, leaders are presenting what they came up with in those sessions to business leaders again. From the conversations, planners will put together a formal comprehensive plan for city council to vote on.

The end result will become the future of North Myrtle Beach.

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