MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – City officials will meet Tuesday for the second and final reading of an ordinance that would require golf cart, scooter and moped rental businesses to obtain a franchise when renting out their vehicles.
Spokesperson for the city, Mark Kruea, said currently it is not required that businesses have a franchise to operate. A franchise is a license to do business on public property, according to Kruea. This ordinance, if passed, will require businesses to get a franchise, and in return the city can require certain regulations of the businesses.
If you have a business outside the city, you will still need to obtain a franchise if your golf carts, mopeds or scooters will be used inside the city.
"We've been meeting with the golf cart and moped rental industry several times over the last six to eight months," said Kruea, "So, they're familiar with what these rules are. They may not be happy about it because it does require a $25 franchise fee for the license plate on the golf cart or moped, but that allows us to identify where that golf cart or moped came from."
Kruea said this franchise agreement would require license plates on these vehicles inside Myrtle Beach city limits and license plates would be issued through the city.
There is also a second ordinance up for a second reading today intertwined with the repercussions of not abiding by the franchise agreement, if both are passed.
The other ordinance would make it a misdemeanor to not have a franchise for a vehicle that is being rented.
Kruea said if both pass, these ordinances will go into effect next year. The winter time, being the off season, will give officials a window of time to put these new rules in place if council passes them today.
Looking ahead, Kruea said if the city still sees issues with golf carts, mopeds and scooters on the streets, this ordinance also gives the police chief the ability to suspend franchise operations for a certain period of time.
"Even with this ordinance, if people are out there misusing these vehicles, not abiding by the rules and regulations by state law, this gives us the ability to say, 'Hey, we need a cooling down period for two hour. Stop renting the vehicles for that period,'" said Kruea.
These ordinances will give the city some form of control over the renting of these vehicles and figuring out who is misusing them, according to Kruea.
The city council meeting is being held in the Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center today at 2 p.m.