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After running off merchants, Myrtle Beach reverses itself on bar moratorium

Are commercial private property rights respected in Myrtle Beach?

Residents, business owners, and one candidate for Myrtle Beach City Council say no.

Today we can say that Myrtle Beach is at the cusp of a renaissance and the future of Myrtle Beach is now,”  Myrtle Beach Mayor, Brenda Bethune told WPDE news on October 8th. This, as the city announced a newly approved brewery for the ‘superblock’ area of Myrtle Beach.

However,  up and until October 23rd,  the city imposed a moratorium on bars operating in the Myrtle Beach Superblock.  This moratorium worked to effectively push existing bars, like Natalies Bar out of business just two years ago.

Wrote WPDE news: The brewery is a new step for Myrtle Beach and leaders had had a moratorium in place since 2015, banning things like bars, nightclubs, and alcohol sales in the area, but council voted to rescind it Tuesday.

The microbrewery, while it will sell some alcohol, that sort of microbrewery use is contemplated and allowed as part of the arts and innovation district, so that is one of the uses that we’re trying to encourage in the area, but it’s not a bar or a nightclub,” said the city Spokesperson Mark Kruea.

UPSET BUSINESS OWNERS AND LOCALS SPEAK OUT ONLINE

Business owner Ann Dunham posted the below online.

Here are some items of interest coming up for vote by city council this Tuesday. The city is selling more property in the superblock without offering it openly to the public first. And they are saying they are selling it at cost. Is this not true because there were other costs? What about the $5,000 per month the agent was paid to start secreting buying up property downtown until the plan was exposed, closing costs, etc? They like the brewery and are providing OWNER FINANCING for a year. We taxpayers are SOOOO generous. Since they like this brewery, they are changing the moratorium on “drinking places”!!
Yes, like Ed Carey [Candidate for Myrtle Beach City Council] says, this city picks winners and losers. Another example is the new TAG group using taxpayer property for their office and co-work space. And city staff can’t explain “opportunity funds” so they are looking for $40,000 to GIVE to TAG so TAG can “educate potential investors on the use of qualified opportunity funds.”

2nd Reading Ordinance 2019-052 to rescind Ordinance 2015-077 which established a moratorium on nightclubs, bars, other drinking places to reflect that the Planning Commission has fulfilled City Council’s request to study such uses in the area now known as the Arts and Innovation District, and that, pursuant to that study, zoning regulations have now been adopted for that area.

In December 2015, City Council imposed a moratorium on new nightclubs, bars and other drinking places after a number of significant criminal activities in the area occurred (formerly known as the Superblock area). This area is now the site of the Arts & Innovation District, which was established through Ordinance 2019-047 on September 24, 2019. The ART zoning designation sets forth the permitted uses in this area, so this moratorium is no longer relevant.

“2nd Reading Ordinance 2019-051 to authorize the sale of property located at 819 North Kings Highway (identified as TMS #181‑07‑07‑017 and Horry County PIN #44401010041) to GSB Properties, LLC, for $453,000, an amount which equals the City’s purchase price.

The subject property is a two-story structure located adjacent to Nance Plaza in the Arts & Innovation District. The property has been qualified as a “contributing” property to the historic district, making the renovations eligible for State and Federal Historic Tax Credits. The proposed purchaser plans to construct a brewery in this space. The purchaser also plans to lease the second floor for use as a combination event and “maker space.”
The proposed sales price is equal to the city’s original purchase price from DRC, and DRC’s original price from the previous owner. Under the proposed terms, the purchaser will pay $3,000 in earnest money upon execution of the contract and $10,000 more at closing. The balance is due one year later (at 5% interest) to allow the buyer to pay from the proceeds of the historic tax credits. The agreement acknowledges the city’s intent to demolish the adjacent city-owned building to accommodate a passageway between Nance Plaza and the public parking area in the rear. The agreement also acknowledges the city’s intent to activate Nance Plaza and to allow the purchaser non-exclusive use of that space. The agreement is anticipated to be closed within 75 days of execution of the agreement.

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About David Hucks

Born in 1961, David is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

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