Horry County residents have now put up a Facebook page boycotting the City of Myrtle Beach. Over 1,000 locals have joined the Facebook page in the past days. The boycott stems from parking fees collected by the city of Myrtle Beach on behalf of a group called the DRC. Parking fees collected directly fund the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation. Parking fees are the main reason a county residents’ boycott Myrtle Beach movement has been initiated.
The Downtown Redevelopment Corporation is a “not for profit” organization incorporated in 1998. New parking fees to fund this group are now being charged at the Golden Mile section of Myrtle Beach. The Golden Mile runs from 31st avenue north to 65th avenue north in downtown Myrtle Beach. Since Myrtle Beach first became a city, access to the beach from these areas has always been free. As the town of Myrtle Beach was largely founded by Conway area residents, many county residents feel betrayed by recent new laws. Those same residents, as well as some city merchants, are also wary of the many new roles and powers given to the DRC.
The DRC, Downtown Redevelopment Coporation, [On behalf of the city of Myrtle Beach] using an infrastructure loan mechanism earlier condemned, and yesterday, began demolishing the Emerald Shores Oceanfront hotel.
Concerning the Emerald Shores, the DRC [City of Myrtle Beach] put out the following statement: Demolition began Tuesday morning on the former Emerald Shores hotel on Ocean Boulevard at Fifth Avenue North…. The property was derelict and abandoned. Demolition is expected to take about a week and is being funded through a line-of-credit for improvements in the Entertainment District and elsewhere.
Several Myrtle Beach area merchants we spoke with said the actions of the DRC were causing issues in the county at large. Some business owners we spoke with believe the actions of the DRC are just a heavy handed attempt by city council to abdicate responsibilities voters have placed in their hands. As such, a group of city merchants are now weighing options at suing the city of Myrtle Beach over these new parking fees.
When we asked local businessman Shai David about his reaction to the county resident boycott, he offered the following insight. “It saddens me to see city government being reactive rather than proactive. I believe city leaders should do everything in their power to keep the community united and resentment free. We should all strive to have a better city so we can leave our children and future generations a better place to live in. This can only be done if everyone works together, everyone has a voice, and most importantly, local residents can have total transparency from city government. Transparency builds trust; When ‘We The People’ believe our leaders have our community’s best interests at heart, city boycotts and lawsuits are never necessary. Those extremes lead only to different degrees of losing, never a win. I pray city leaders open their hearts and truly listen to the voices and concerns of our merchants, neighbors, and visitors alike.”
MyrtleBeachSC.com has obtained the articles of incorporation of the DRC. We also have reached out to David Sebok, Executive Director at Downtown Redevelopment Corporation, requesting a copy of bylaws of the corporation. Most residents are unclear on the exact role of this non elected “parking fee funded” organization.
Some have questions about the organization’s new expanded role of planning events for the downtown area. Others are concerned about what role the organization will play in enforcing a new city law that threatens business licenses of those who do not comply with a new city ordinance. While still others find condemning and destroying existing properties troubling. See the video above for details. To Join The Group On Facebook, Click Here