HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The public will now have a chance to weigh in on a rezoning request that will lead to the Myrtle Beach Speedway’s closure.
The first reading for the rezoning of the 46 acres that the speedway sits on was approved by the Horry County Council on Tuesday night.
Now it heads to a second reading where the public will be able to share their input on the rezoning.
One issue that has been brought up is the way traffic will get to the property, according to our news partner My Horry News. Access to the speedway comes only from Hospitality Lane, a frontage road that has a single connection with Waccamaw Pines Drive.
Myrtle Beach Speedway owner Bob Lutz said developers have been interested in the property for a while. But before the property can be sold, it must be rezoned for commercial and residential development. The rezoning could mean a number of different buildings could be built on the property, including a hotel, townhomes, senior living space or warehouse storage.
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The racetrack has played host to some of NASCAR’s biggest names such as Petty, Earnhardt and Gordon, but like many smaller tracks across the country, they just don’t pull in the crowds or profit like they once did.
Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught said even though it’s hard for many people to see the Myrtle Beach Speedway close, there are other industries that could bring economic and substantial benefits to the community.
“The speedway has had a hard time continuing to exist just because of change in culture and trying to have races, and of course this COVID thing has not helped either. But racing and all that in the south is drying out so this gives us a chance to change it into something that will be more productive,” Vaught said.
The rezoning must go through three readings before it is approved.