MYRTLE BEACH — After mobile ice cream vendors expressed concerns with the city’s recent changes to the solicitation law, the Myrtle Beach City Council passed first reading of an ordinance that will once again allow commercial activity in the city’s street ends.
“The ordinance is being amended to allow canvassing [and] sales on the street ends that are beyond the non-solicitation zone,” city manager Tom Leath said during an Aug. 13 council workshop.
The amended ordinance would allow mobile vending, the passing out of non-commercial handbills, canvassing and panhandling to resume in street ends north of 21st Avenue North and south of 13th Avenue South.
Mobile ice cream vendors told City Council members July 23 that the change in the law had restricted the number of locations they could sell ice cream, making businesses have to lay off employees. Norm Levi, owner of an ice cream moped business, said he had to cut his company from 30 employees to two.
The city passed the ordinance June 11 that slightly tightened restrictions on commercial solicitation in certain areas of the city, including the downtown area. It created a “protected zone,” which is described as the area bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, 13th Avenue South on the south, along Kings Highway to Seventh Avenue North and along Broadway Street from Seventh Avenue North to Ninth Avenue North, then comes back to Kings Highway from Ninth Avenue North up to 21st Avenue North.
The ice cream vendors still would not be allowed to sell in the protected zone.
The amendment to the law still makes it illegal for anyone to panhandle within city limits at any public or private parking lot, public parks, the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, the beach, any beach access and the boardwalk.
The ordinance would become law after a second reading, which could happen at the next council meeting on Aug. 27.
Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.