Clark Vereen said he wanted to make sure beachgoers had a place to park while easing his yardwork workload when he had cement pavers installed on the shoulder of the roads where his house sits in the Forest Dunes neighborhood.
What he thought would be a practical, nice addition actually isn’t even allowed in the city because of a moratorium on encroachments into the public right of way such as this one.
It’s public property but [residential] owners still want it to look nice. So I would be the one to mow it. And I would usually mow it on the weekends, but that’s when the street is filled with cars. Working around the parked cars would have been a problem.”
resident Clark Vereen
How it happened
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In March 2013, after being overwhelmed with residential encroachment requests, Myrtle Beach City Council issued a moratorium until city staff could compile an inventory of all of the encroachments in the city. That inventory has not yet been completed and presented to City Council.
By placing the pavers, Vereen violated the moratorium, City Manager John Pedersen said.
Moved in, but pavers might have to go
After some conversation – and about six weeks – city staff granted Vereen temporary occupancy while they complete the inventory and council is able to decide to either lift the moratorium or change the encroachment policy.
You can argue that [pavers] improve parking, but a lot of times you have utilities in the ground and then you have to cut the ground to make repairs. Then even if there are not utilities in the area, we have to explain why Mr. Smith can have [an encroachment], but Mr. Jones can’t.”
City Manager John Pedersen
Depending on what council decides, it’s possible that Vereen could be asked to remove the pavers – which cost $19,337 – from public property.
He said he did not know encroaching on public property would keep him out of his newly-constructed, three-story house on the corner of 64th Avenue North and Porcher Drive.
“You can’t block public parking, so what we did is embrace it and opted to put down some pavers,” he said.
$19,337Cost of pavers installed at Clark Vereen’s house that might have to be removed if the City Council doesn’t approve the encroachment
Pedersen said he expects city staff to complete the inventory on encroachments sometime this winter. Vereen’s occupancy permit is in effect until city staff completes the inventory and council has the chance to decide to either lift the moratorium or change its policy on encroachments.
“At some point we will revisit encroachments and City Council may make a determination that it is an encroachment that can stay,” Pedersen said.
If you’re going to pass an ordinance, either you enforce it or you don’t pass it.”
City Councilman Mike Lowder
Vereen said he was trying to accommodate beachgoers who park in the area when he installed pavers instead of planting bushes or other vegetation on the shoulder like others have done that takes away that parking option. The pavers allow for five cars to park on 64th Avenue North and six cars to park on Porcher Drive.
“The city has approved those type of pavers before,” he said. “I hope they allow them to stay.”
March 2013 | Moratorium enacted
Fall 2013 | Vereen purchases property on 64th Avenue North
July 2014 | Construction on Vereen’s new home begins
March 2015 | Vereen applied for encroachment permit
April 2015 | Vereen learned he would not be granted a certificate of occupancy to move into his new home
May 12, 2015 | Vereen asked council to lift the moratorium and grant his encroachment so he can move in
May 26, 2015 | Received temporary certificate of occupancy pending City Council review of moratorium