Myrtle Beach settles suit over Golden Mile rentals

sjones@thesunnews.comJanuary 21, 2013 

— Four property owners along Myrtle Beach’s “Golden Mile” will be allowed to continue short-term rentals through Sept. 30, 2014, in a settlement of a lawsuit that originated in 2010, an attorney for three of the owners said Monday.

The suit was scheduled for a court hearing Tuesday on a permanent injunction against the rentals sought by the city.

The city originally sought an injunction in 2010 against the owners of eight properties along the oceanfront section north of about 30th Avenue North. The city said the properties were in areas zoned for permanent residence and, according to city code, cannot by occupied by short-term renters.

The settlement bans rentals of the properties from events such as large weddings, said Tommy Brittain, the attorney for three of the property owners.

“We appreciate the city giving our group a little bit of wiggle room,” Brittain said Monday afternoon.

The city of Myrtle Beach doesn’t comment on lawsuits, city spokesman Mark Kruea said. Attorney James Battle, who is representing the city, referred calls about the suit to the city.

Brittain said the city is giving the owners who are still active defendants in the lawsuit two seasons to make some financial adjustments for their properties. Brittain said that more property owners were involved in the suit originally, but that all but four of them have dropped their participation in the case.

Brittain said he’s not sure if the compromise affects other property owners in “The Golden Mile.”

The original complaint listed sixteen owners of the eight properties, most of whom had out-of-state addresses in 2010. A couple of the properties appeared to be owned by husbands and wives and another was owned by a limited liability corporation called Manana.

Kruea said in 2010 the city can learn about zoning violations such as those along “The Golden Mile” through business license inspectors, complaints by neighbors and other ways.

“Compliance with the city code and our zoning is the goal,” he said then.

Brittain said the suit was settled late Friday afternoon. He said the city made a final offer at that time and the four property owners still active in the suit agreed to it.

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.

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