Mayor Marilyn Hatley of North Myrtle Beach Speaks Out Against Offshore Drilling

During a February 13 press conference in Columbia, S.C., organized by Oceana, the world’s largest international ocean conservation and advocacy organization, North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley joined local and state legislators and citizens from Greenville to Charleston in speaking out against offshore drilling.

In her speech Mayor Hatley said that she opposes seismic air gun testing and oil and gas exploration and drilling in the ocean off the coast of North Myrtle Beach and South Carolina because the slight and speculative benefit that would likely accrue to the global energy market from such activity is not worth the potential for a single incident that could cripple local and statewide economies, and ruin natural resources.

Mayor Hatley said domestic travelers spend more than $12 billion in South Carolina each year, with a total annual economic impact of about $20 billion. Tourism sustains more than 116,000 jobs statewide, and generates more than $485 million in state and local taxes. Visitor spending on the Grand Strand (Horry and Georgetown Counties combined) totals more than $7 billion annually and supports more than 83,000 jobs, an impressive 80% of which are year-round. More than 17 million people visit the grand strand annually, representing 37% of tourism’s statewide economic impact.

“The City of North Myrtle Beach works hard to protect and preserve its 9 miles of beautiful beaches and our other natural resources for the enjoyment of current and future generations of residents and visitors,” Mayor Hatley said. “Preserving these natural attributes is essential to our healthy economy and to our quality of life.”

Following her speech, Mayor Hatley joined other state and local legislators, including South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford, State Representative Greg Duckworth, and State Senator Luke Rankin, at a rally at the State Capitol building in opposition to offshore drilling.

The North Myrtle Beach City Council has passed a resolution against offshore drilling and the Council recently resolved to join a proposed lawsuit with other South Carolina coastal communities initiated by the South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP) opposing seismic air gun testing and oil and gas exploration and drilling off the North Myrtle Beach/South Carolina Coast.

North Myrtle Beach City Applies for Permit to Accomplish Additional Dune Restoration Work

The City of North Myrtle Beach has applied to the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control’s Office of Ocean & Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) for authorization under OCRM General Permit 17-SMD to place sand excavated from an inland source onto the dune system fronting the Atlantic Ocean between 41stAvenue South and 45thAvenue South, between 37th Avenue North and 42nd Avenue North, and between 61st Avenue North and 63rdAvenue North in North Myrtle Beach.

The City is nearing completion of a previously permitted dune restoration project from 45th Avenue South to 48th Avenue South and from 42nd Avenue North to 55th Avenue North.

Sand used in the second dune restoration project will come from the same dredging spoils basin located on Little River Neck Road that supplied sand for the first project. Sand currently in the spoils basin is from the Cherry Grove dredging project. Prior to dredging the canals, sand located in the canals was tested and found to be compatible with existing dune and beach sand. The City must remove all of the sand from the spoils basin. Since some sand will still remain in the basin after the first dune restoration project is complete, the City has opted to continue to utilize the remaining sand for more dune restoration.

As with the initial dune restoration project, street trucks will haul sand from the spoils basin to the beach where off-road vehicles will carry the sand along the beach to the dune line. From there, bulldozers will work to achieve the desired dune berm configuration, which is about 7 feet high, 35 feet wide at the base, and 20 feet wide at the top. Over time, wind, rain, and tides will reshape the sand to a more natural looking dune.

There may be some intermittent closures of sections of beach, particularly when the tide is high.

The project focuses on protecting exposed oceanfront structures from storm surge.

Following the reconstruction of dunes, sand fencing will be installed along the dunes and beach grass will be planted.

The Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach Offers "Macaroni Mania" on February 17, 11am-4 pm at the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex

The Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach invites you to enjoy Macaroni Mania on Saturday, February 17, 11am-4pm
 at the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex.

Proceeds from the family-friendly event will benefit The Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach Building Fund.

Macaroni Mania offers a macaroni cook-off between various area restaurants, including Midtown Bistro, Benito’s, The Main Slice, Wild Wings Café, Logan’s Roadhouse, Mellow Mushroom, Snooky’s, Brisket, Greg Norman’s Australian Grille, and Longbeard’s Bar & Grill. For a small donation you can sample macaroni dishes created by the restaurants.

Macaroni Mania will also feature live entertainment from the local band, "Cornbread", plus children’s activities, a petting zoo, raffles, auctions, and an adult beverage garden.

Dogs from The Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach and other local shelters and animal rescue organizations will be available for adoption.

The Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach is located at 409 Bay Street, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582.

Results - February 5 North Myrtle Beach City Council Meeting

Prior to the start of the February 5 North Myrtle Beach City Council meeting, City Council met in an executive session that included the following agenda items (no action taken):
-- A legal briefing to discuss Brandon Mykal Cook vs the City of North Myrtle Beach

-- A legal briefing to discuss Martin and Rhonda Ottoway vs the City of North Myrtle Beach, Et Al

-- Potential litigation in conjunction with other S.C. coastal municipalities and the S.C. Environmental Law Project in opposition to offshore seismic testing and oil and gas exploration

-- Interview of potential candidates for the position of North Myrtle Beach municipal judge

City Council received an update on the activities of North Myrtle Beach Tree City Board from Chairman Tom Walker.

City Council reappointed Tom Walker to serve on the Tree City Board.

City Council approved a special event permit for the St. Patrick’s Day Festival, March 17, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Main Street. The North Myrtle Beach Parks & Recreation Department manages the festival.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, managed by the North Strand Optimist Club, precedes the festival from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. on Main Street. City Council approved a special permit for the parade during its January 8 meeting.

City Council approved a Resolution allowing the City to join a proposed lawsuit with other S.C. coastal communities initiated by the South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP) opposing off shore seismic testing and oil and gas exploration. SCELP will file the lawsuit and will represent the City regarding the lawsuit at no charge.

The purpose of the proposed lawsuit is to oppose the issuance of permits by the federal government for seismic air gun testing and oil and gas exploration and drilling off the coast of North Myrtle Beach/Horry County and other South Carolina coastal communities.

City Council approved first reading of an ordinance toannex lands totaling about 0.40 acres identified by TMS # 144-06-03-019 and or PIN # 356-01-01-0014. The lot is currently unincorporated and zoned RE-1 (Neighborhood Retail Services District) by Horry County. The petition also reflects the requested City of North Myrtle Beach zoning district of R-1 (Single Family Residential Low Density).

Property owners Robert and Deena Shartzer have petitioned the City to annex the land, currently occupied by an existing single-family home. Surrounding land uses are highway commercial and mobile/manufactured home residential within the adjacent city parcels, and highway commercial and  residential district MSF 10 within the adjacent unincorporated county parcels. Upon annexation, the parcel would be designated R-1 (Single-Family Residential Low-Density).

City Council passed first reading of an ordinance for a zoning map amendment to apply the Small Lot Outdoor Living Overlay Zone to the Timber Ridge Village Neighborhood.

Due to support from the residents of the Timber Ridge Village neighborhood, the Planning Department has initiated a request to apply the Small Lot Outdoor Living Overlay Zone to the 154 lots of the Timber Ridge subdivision. Except for two undeveloped lots and three common area lots, all lots feature single-family homes.

The purpose and intent of the Small Lot Outdoor Living Overlay Zone is to permit owners of small parcels in the R-3 zoning district to utilize outdoor space by constructing unenclosed decks or porches, whether covered or uncovered, to within five feet of property lines. When considering requests for application of this overlay, the average lot sizes of the surrounding neighborhood are considered. Prime candidates for the use of this overlay include neighborhoods with a predominance of lot sizes that are at and/or sometimes below the minimum size for the underlying district.

The subdivision is bordered by a mobile home park to the west (R-3 Mobile/Manufactured Home Residential District), the Grand Strand Airport to the north (LI Limited Industrial District), the North Village Shopping Center to the south (Highway Commercial District), and single­-family homes to the east across 33rd Avenue South (R-1 Single-Family Residential Low-Density District).

City Council passed a Resolution approving a pre-annexation agreement for Lot 32B Riverside Drive. Property owners Brian and Anne Dushanko have requested water and sewer service for their residence at Lot 32B on Riverside Drive. The property is not contiguous to the city limit, and the Dushankos have filed a petition for annexation and zoning designation as R-1 (Single-Family Residential Low Density) when the property does become contiguous to the city's corporate boundary.

The property owners have signed a pre-annexation agreement that would require them to complete the annexation process when possible, but would allow them to receive city water and sewer service in the interim. While the property remains outside the city limits the property owners will pay outside water and sewer rates, which are higher than rates paid by customers located within the city limits. The property owners have also paid toward the extension of City water and sewer service to their property.

City Council passed first reading of an ordinance to approve a Franchise Agreement between the City of North Myrtle Beach and Business Telecom LLC. The proposed franchise between the City and Business Telecom, LLC, (BT) authorizes BT to install and maintain its lines, wires, cables, conduits and other facilities within the public rights of way (ROW) within the city. The initial term of the agreement is for 10 years. Thereafter, the City will have the option to renew the agreement for three additional five-year terms. BT would pay the City is a $750 annual franchise fee, which is set by the South Carolina Code of Laws for municipalities with a population between 10,001 and 25,000 people.