FAA opens investigation into Myrtle Beach’s sale of campground land

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: Apr. 15, 2021 at 5:09 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The federal government is now getting involved in a fight between the city of Myrtle Beach and Horry County.

The issue at hand is the sale of nearly 145 acres inside Lakewood Camping Resort and PirateLand Family Camping Resort, known as the Seascape Properties in court documents.

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.

Back in January, a judge denied Horry County’s request for a preliminary injunction to block the sale of the campground properties.

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

But a letter sent from the FAA to the county could change things.

Horry County released in a statement on Thursday that the United States gave the Seascape Properties to the city of Myrtle Beach at no cost on the condition that the revenue from those properties would be used for airport purposes.

Court documents show that on March 17, the FAA sent a letter to the city of Myrtle Beach requesting that if the city sells the Seascape Properties, then it will transfer the proceeds of the sale to Horry County for it to be used for airport purposes. The request is based on an agreement between the city, the federal government and the airport sponsor back in Oct. 1958.

The city of Myrtle Beach responded to the FAA and denied the request, stating that the city has fulfilled its obligations under the 1958 agreement and that “both the Federal government and Horry County have since disclaimed and waived any interest in the properties.”

The city also asked how the FAA became aware of the potential sale. The FAA has not responded.

The FAA has now opened an investigation of the proposed sale at Horry County’s request.

Because of this, the county has voluntarily dismissed its court case against the city while the FAA conducts its investigation.

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