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Crescent Beach rezoning plan moves ahead with compromise and concern

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 10:57 PM EST
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - High-rise hotels, condos and parking garages could be the vision for the future of Crescent Beach, but not without conflict.

The idea has divided North Myrtle Beach city leaders and the residents that call the community home.

City leaders organized a workshop to talk about the controversial rezoning in an effort to compromise about what could be in store for the area.

The thing driving people through the roof is just how high those roofs should be?

Those living in the area near the main intersection of Crescent Beach at 17th South and Ocean Boulevard can agree on one thing: They don’t want to see high-rise hotels and condos lining either side of Ocean Boulevard through the whole neighborhood.

They’ve been back and forth with the city council on the issue for weeks now, and after Wednesday’s workshop, many feel their voices have been heard.

“It’s not overcrowded, water’s great, people are friendly,” said Anne Brosnin, who lives in Crescent Beach.

Brosnin says, as an Australian, she loves all beaches. But the reason she loves Crescent Beach enough to call it home is that there’s enough room to move around.

A recent rezoning proposal could change that a little bit.

“I’d like to see control of what’s built there,” Brosnin said. “I’d like to see a developer put forth a plan before anything is actually done.”

Last month, the North Myrtle Beach city council began considering a plan to rezone the property to the north and south of Crescent Beach’s main drag, 17th Avenue South.

Right now, with the current zoning, developers can build condos and hotels up to 135 feet; however, they’d have to provide several floors of parking underneath, cutting into the total density.

The initial rezoning the city was looking at last month would allow building to 165 feet with no in-building parking requirement.

After pushback from people like Brosnin and dozens of others who call Crescent Beach home, the council revised the plan.

“We listened to folks, gathered everything we had, and I appreciate their comments, too,” said Fred Coyne, a member of the North Myrtle Beach council.

In the revised plan, the city dropped the area north of 17th from the rezoning and came up with an overlay on the Southside that would allow the 165-foot buildings on the beach, but limit the property on the inland side of Ocean Boulevard to 90 feet max.

The revised plan also would require some sort of commercial element on the first floor, like a coffee shop or restaurant.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE CRESCENT BEACH COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

“Right now, everything is here,” Coyne said. “What we’re going to do is shift it a little bit. Where you won’t have as much density on the second row as you do on the oceanfront.”

That change didn’t quite settle the concerns of some Crescent Beachers.

“Something’s wrong here. The majority of the people do not want it.”

“This is going to hurt our lives and our future if you put all this in.”

Brosnin though feels her voice has been heard and the new proposal is a compromise she can live with.

“My main concern is they hadn’t been listening to the people, and now they’re listening,” Brosnin said. “I think we can go forward with this and still work with it. It still needs a lot.”

She should have plenty of opportunities to make sure the plan gets worked on.

It heads to the planning commission next month and then will need to pass two readings at city council.

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