Myrtle Beach planning commission discusses big agenda items

Myrtle Beach planning commission discusses big agenda items

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach planning committee will be making recommendations on what to do with two large pieces of property in the city.  One is a little over 14 acres of land at two corners of Grissom Parkway and Mr. Joe White Avenue.  The other is from 77th to 79th Avenues North between Porcher Dr. and North Ocean Blvd.

The two corners of land at Grissom Parkway at Mr. Joe White Ave. is owned by Burroughs and Chapin. The key here is this land is one of more than a few dozen of what the city calls 'donut holes.'  Donut holes are where the land is considered in Horry County, so Myrtle Beach police do not have jurisdiction to patrol there, only county police do.  This area is commonly known for trespassing, and MBPD must call Horry County to patrol.

The annexation is up for recommendation to be part of Myrtle Beach instead, thus solving the jurisdiction issue.  However, now the issue for residents and businesses is Burroughs and Chapin wants the land to be zoned for commercial highway.

Commercial highway zoning would allow for a big box store to move in.  Myrtle Beach city planner Allison Hardin said the lights, noise and parking lots that come with big box stores don't fit into the goals for that area. Instead, the planning commission wants it to be zoned as 'mixed zoning,' for both commercial and residential.

This would encourage smaller, walk-up businesses and homes that flow with neighborhood walkability goals.  Hardin said the mixed zoning doesn't allow for front parking, thus eliminating a big box store as an option to be put there.

The planning committee can only recommend their opinion to Myrtle Beach City Council.  Hardin said the commission has received numerous emails and complaints on the issue from residents and businesses.  She said the commission will vote based on the people's wishes, however the ultimate decision is up to city council.  Then, city council must vote on it twice for the final decision.

Unlike commercial properties, residential property plans are controlled completely by the planning commission.  There's a proposal going through the Myrtle Beach planning commission Tuesday by Ocean View Investors LLC to subdivide almost 7 and a half acres between 77th and 79th Avenues North, also between Porcher Drive and North Ocean Blvd.

This lot used to home a hospital.  It was knocked down in the late 1970s, and the property has sat empty since.  Hardin said eleven proposals have gone through attempting to develop the land, but none successfully.  The closest to fruition was a condominium high-rise in the early 2000s.  It fell through.

There are 61 lots there planners hope to be a residential neighborhood.  Hardin said the developers have adjusted the design several times based on planning suggestions, and now have come up with a plan similar to the Market Common design centered around a large oak tree on the property.

Nearby business owner and Myrtle Beach native Hannah Shimmin said development will increase visibility for the businesses there.

"I know that they've been talking about developing it lately.  Which, for me, as a business owner in the area is exciting.  I would love to see some residential stuff go in there just to have more foot traffic in our business area," Shimmin said.

We'll find out the future possibilities for both properties Tuesday afternoon.  Stay tuned to WMBF News online and on air for updates.

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