Judge denies Horry County’s request for preliminary injunction to block sale of campgrounds

Myrtle Beach approved selling nearly 145 acres of campground property on the Grand Strand that...
Myrtle Beach approved selling nearly 145 acres of campground property on the Grand Strand that generate millions of dollars each year for Myrtle Beach International Airport amid the threat of a lawsuit from Horry County over the sale.(Source: MyHorryNews)
Updated: Jan. 26, 2021 at 11:10 PM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Horry County was dealt a blow in its effort to block the sale of campground land in Myrtle Beach.

Back in December, the county sued the city of Myrtle Beach to halt the sale of nearly 145 acres inside Lakewood Camping Resort and PirateLand Family Camping Resort.

The city of Myrtle Beach owns the property and has leased it to the campgrounds for decades as part of their larger operations. The land has also been used to generate millions of dollars revenue for the Myrtle Beach International Airport, which is run by Horry County.

According to our news partner, My Horry News, the Myrtle Beach City Council voted to sell the properties to the campgrounds for a combined $60 million. But Horry County contended that the sale price is below fair market value and objected to the city’s plan to keep all of the proceeds from the sale.

A 2004 agreement between the county and the city outlines how the revenues from the campground land should be divided, but the city argued the contract deals with lease revenues and not the proceeds from the sale of the land. Therefore, Horry County is in jeopardy of losing millions of dollars in revenue for airport operations.

On Monday, Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Culbertson denied Horry County’s request for a preliminary injunction to block the sale of the campground properties.

“The County lacks any legal title interest in the Seascape Properties and has, in fact, entered into an agreement to resolve all prior disputes between it and the City involving these properties. That agreement… does not create any beneficial or equitable interest in the properties that would entitle the County to prevent the sale of, or receive any proceeds from the sale of, these properties,” according to the court decision.

The court order also states that the 2004 agreement does not require the city to share the revenues with the county. It added that the county’s claim of ‘irreparable harm’ if the city is allowed to sell the properties ‘is demonstrably wrong.’

The order also dissolves a temporary restraining order issued while the court reviewed the case.

WMBF News has reached out to Horry County for a statement on the judge’s decision. The county’s spokesperson said they do not offer commentary on pending litigation.

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