April 12, 2014

Not all areas planning to ban tents on the beach

Not all local beaches are jumping on the bandwagon to ban tents on the beach.

Not all local beaches are jumping on the bandwagon to ban tents on the beach.

Surfside Beach and Georgetown County say they’ll watch to see what happens in other areas that have banned them, but don’t have plans to follow suit.

“We’re going to take a wait-and-see attitude,” Surfside Beach Mayor Doug Samples said. “If and when [Horry County] adopts their third reading, and they start enforcing it, if it has some impact on us, then we’ll consider it at that time.”

Horry County Council will take its final vote Tuesday to ban beach tents year-round. Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach also have banned them; Myrtle Beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day and North Myrtle Beach from May 15 through Sept. 15.

Atlantic Beach looks like it will mirror the ordinance passed by North Myrtle Beach earlier this year, said Town Manager William Booker. Atlantic Beach is surrounded by North Myrtle Beach to the north, south and west, and Booker said the first reading of the ordinance, which prohibits tents from May 15 to Sept. 15, was approved last week.

“If it passes the second reading, it will be law,” Booker said.

Georgetown County has an ordinance in place that prohibits tents from being left on the beach overnight, but not on the tents themselves, said Jackie Broach, spokeswoman for Georgetown County.

Though the beach tents are not banned, the tents and other items are not allowed within 25 feet of sea turtle nests, Broach said.

Broach said Georgetown was looking in past years to bring their beach ordinances in line with Horry County, but have since decided not to.

“It was just decided that that was not the direction that we had wanted to go in at that time,” Broach said. “Since Horry County has moved in this direction, we have not discussed that as something we would like to follow suit in.”

Samples said Surfside Beach just hasn’t had to deal with the beach tents in the past.

“It hasn’t been a problem in the town of Surfside Beach,” Samples said. “We just don’t have the density issues like Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and even [Horry County].

“If we see there’s a problem, we’ll address it. Up to this point, we don’t have a problem.”

With Horry County poised to ban tents, there have been some minor rumblings that Georgetown County and its tent-friendly beaches might benefit, Broach said.

“I have heard some conversations that perhaps there could be some potential tourism benefits for us... but we aren’t expecting a flood of people from Myrtle Beach to head down to Georgetown,” she said.

Surfside Beach

Atlantic Beach

Georgetown County

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