North Myrtle Beach passes first reading of amendment to beach wares ordinance

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 11:13 PM EDT
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The City of North Myrtle Beach voted Wednesday to amend an ordinance concerning equipment left on the beach overnight.

Under the updated guidelines, businesses other than the city’s rental service can’t leave unattended items like beach chairs and umbrellas on the beach between the hours of 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. each day.

Some local business owners, such as Derek Calhoun of Cherry Grove Beach Gear, took their concerns directly to city leaders during Wednesday’s meeting.

“I’m sure the council didn’t mean to make my business practices lawful one day, and unlawful the next,” he said. “I’m sure you didn’t mean to target myself and my business with the approved changes last week.”

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Councilwoman Nikki Fontana then responded to Calhoun directly.

“We have never told you that you can’t have your business,” she said. “We love our businesses in North Myrtle Beach. We fight for you guys and try to make the best decisions that we can possibly make for the city as a whole.”

The city says the rule is in place due to those items and debris getting in the way of workers cleaning the beaches each day.

“It has nothing to do with being against one business, and I know you feel that way. It has nothing to do with that,” said North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley.

Calhoun says he has been been given tickets daily and has already paid $1,500 in fines. During the meeting, body camera video from a recent interaction he had with the police was played.

“We had been operating for months at that point, beach patrol has driven by and never stopped us,” said Calhoun. “That was Officer Reed that day, that came out and said we couldn’t set up. I, as a citizen, chose not to speak.”

By the conclusion of the meeting, the council voted unanimously to approve the first reading of the amended ordinance.

A second reading will be held at a future council meeting.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.

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