“The city is required by law to have a ten year plan. Merchants and residents we spoke with are curious as to why no future renderings of the downtown areas are publicly available.”
The city has denied a request by lawyers for Karon and Kyle Mitchell to produce the city’s projected, future architectural plans for the streets and areas around the former Myrtle Beach pavilion.
The City/DRC is currently tearing down many of the oceanfront properties and, also, especially along the second row on streets that run from 16th Avenue North to 16th Avenue South. Through an infrastructure loan arrangement, the DRC can legally tear down certain city determined “eye sore”, targeted structures. The property owner would then later be required to repay the demolition costs once the property is sold to a new buyer.
One purchase in this premium real estate redevelopment area has come under scrutiny, however.
As the Myrtle Beach Sun News reports: Court documents filed in early September allege that Jack Isaiah Rabon, Jr., along with his wife, Nicole Rabon, conspired with their attorney [Lane Jeffries] and with the buyers of the land [along 7th Avenue North] to conceal hundreds of thousands of dollars in the transaction from Karon Mitchell, Jack Rabon’s sister, and Kyle Mitchell, her husband. The suit claims that at least some of that money was funneled through a foreign bank account and then given in cash to the Rabons and their attorney.
The properties, in the suit, are located along 7th Avenue North. The city of Myrtle Beach, through Ride III, plans to straighten out Highway 501 running the highway directly to the beach along 7th Avenue North in the year 2020.
If future plans were produced or publicly known, the prices for properties in that area would likely skyrocket, several local Myrtle Beach real estate agents told MyrtleBeachSC.com. Questions remain if a few, key developers and business insiders have actually seen those plans exclusively.
A legal request, made on behalf of Karon and Kyle Mitchell, by Tucker Player of the Player Law Firm states: “the value of the property along 7th Avenue and adjacent properties is directly related to the damages suffered by my clients… These materials [blueprints and architectural renderings of the area when completed] would be required to be produced under a FOIA request,” stated Player. A FOIA request is a Freedom Of Information Act city governments are legally required to respond to so that citizens can be assured government transparency.
Player informed the city he was willing to pay the costs for this FOIA request. Under Rule 45, the City of Myrtle Beach can charge any reasonable costs for copies produced by a FOIA request.
The City denied the request. Attorney Battle claimed: The City of Myrtle Beach and its employees have numerous contacts throughout the City and many parcels of property. For the City and its employees, the scope of your subpoena creates an undue burden and expense. I have read your complaint and I cannot see anything in the complaint that involves the City of Myrtle Beach or its employees. At this point we do not know exactly what you are seeking from the City. If you can narrow your subpoena to name specific documents that you believe are relevant, we may be able to comply. However, we object to the subpoena in its present form.
When MyrtleBeachSC.com asked City Manager John Pedersen and the DRC for those same blueprints and renderings at an open DRC meeting this past October, the meeting was quickly adjourned.
DRC QUICKLY SHUTS DOWN MEETING
The city is required by law to have a ten year plan. Merchants and residents we spoke with, off the record, are curious as to why no future renderings of the downtown areas are publicly available.