Myrtle Beach planning commission looks at two big changes to Market Common area

Myrtle Beach planning commission looks at two big changes to Market Common area

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - If approved at the Myrtle Beach Planning Commission Tuesday, two big changes to where you park and where you go to the doctor will be one step closer to becoming reality.  Additional parking for Market Common and a medical clinic and testing lab could be coming to the Myrtle Beach International Technology and Aviation Park (ITAP), located next to Market Common.

A little less than 500 acres of land at ITAP has sat empty since 2009.  Officials are pushing to add 'park and ride' lot to the list of permitted building.  They're doing this now because the overfill lots where people usually park in Market Common for special events might soon have houses or townhomes built on them.

Myrtle Beach Planning Director Carol Coleman said the proposed park and ride lot would be used mostly during big events, when parking is limited.  Officials hope to transform a section of land closest to the Market Common in ITAP into the park and ride lot. Coleman said visitors will park and be shuttled to where they need.  This eliminates Market Common residents' and customers' concerns of tight parking.

"People typically park where it's easiest to go, so if we can create other opportunities for parking during special events…and then of course we still need to make people aware of the parking that is there," Coleman said.

A proposal to amend the ordinance to approve a medical clinic is also on the planning commission's docket.  Plans for a clinic bigger than 100,000 square feet would bring hundreds of jobs to the Grand Strand.  The city believes a medical clinic runs in accordance with the original park plans.  The main goals of the park is to grow employment and business diversity.

If the clinic is built, it would include doctors offices and outpatient services.  Nothing overnight is allowed that close to the airport according to the Federal Aviation Administration.  Myrtle Beach planning director Carol Coleman said although the clinic would be in ITAP, it's a federal project. Right now, companies are submitting federal bids for the medical clinic there.

"I think it would open up a whole new possibility, or set of possibilities for the ITAP.  I mean, I don't think it closes off what it was originally intended to be, but it would offer up the potential to have additional uses like that," Coleman said.

The planning commission's meeting is Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.  The planning brief says the ordinance changes are suggested for approval.  If they pass, it will move to city council.  It must pass two readings of city council to become official.

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