Surfside Beach may loosen fireworks restrictions for beachgoers
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Some changes could be coming for fireworks use in Surfside Beach.
Town leaders are looking at expanding the times that people can set off fireworks along the beach. Right now, it’s not allowed, except on the Fourth of July holiday, from dusk until 11 p.m.
Now, town leaders are taking another look at the rules because of state laws.
Surfside Beach Police Chief Kenneth Hofmann says state laws preempt municipalities from completely banning fireworks.
He says the way the current ordinance is written, fireworks are banned in Surfside Beach almost all year.
The proposed ordinance would allow people to set off fireworks every day of the week but only in areas where permitted.
“Not within 500 feet of any private property that’s declared a fireworks prohibited zone in accordance with state law. Not within 500 feet of our new pier that’s being built. Churches, schools, daycare facilities, service stations, places like that, ” Hofmann said.
Those fireworks activities would only be legal between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
“As long as it doesn’t violate a noise ordinance or create a public safety danger,” Hofmann said. “At 11 p.m. it must stop. That way we can maintain peace and tranquility of our neighbors and visitors too. Everybody likes to see some fireworks but they don’t always want to hear them all night long.”
The proposed fireworks changes must pass a second reading with the town council before it goes into effect.
“Some residents and visitors probably are not going to be happy about this, so we want to ensure them we will be monitoring it very closely,” Hofmann said.
The citation for violating the new ordinance is a civil penalty and could result in a fine of up to $500.
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