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Myrtle Beach Mall eyed for carnival

A seasonal carnival could be making its way to a site at Myrtle Beach Mall if the Horry County Planning Commission and Horry County Council approve a zoning change that both groups will consider later this month.

The Horry County Council Infrastructure and Regulation Committee on Wednesday moved the carnival proposal and several other issues forward to the full council, some with favorable recommendations and others without recommendation. The carnival, which would seek to set up near the Bass Pro Shops side of the Myrtle Beach Mall complex on U.S. 17, was advanced without a recommendation from the committee, but received full support of the staff.

The committee also moved forward a plan to eliminate one-time emergency road maintenance for private roads, an ordinance to allow mobile food vending in limited amounts throughout the county, and a recommendation to work with the city of Myrtle Beach to build a concrete batch plant on the Myrtle Beach International Airport property to help with several upcoming airport projects.

Carnival

The plan to bring a carnival to the Myrtle Beach Mall site was submitted to the planning commission and the County Council by Councilman Brent Schulz, whose district includes the site. County Planning Director Janet Carter said the zoning change would be necessary because the carnival, which plans for a three-month stay starting in May, would not be eligible for a special event permit that only covers seven days. The zoning change would allow carnivals as a conditional use in the Highway Commercial zones.

"There are a lot of good reasons this is a good use. You can have carnivals and related outdoor entertainment uses, provided that the shopping mall and parking totals at least 50 acres, the parking is in excess of what we would require," she said. "We believe this use will not adversely affect public health, traffic ... or safety in any way. Staff believes that a carnival is an appropriate use under these limited conditions."

There are about three sites in the county that could accommodate the seasonal carnival. The full council will debate the change at the April 20 meeting, and the planning commission will address the proposal at its April 30 meeting.

Concrete plant

Council Chairwoman Liz Gilland also gave the committee an update on efforts to negotiate a solution for neighbors' issues with a concrete batch plant on Pine Island Road in Myrtle Beach. The plant has been allowed to operate overnight on certain days under a conditional use permit because of an existing noise ordinance that prohibits the work. The plant was awarded a contract to repave the runway at Myrtle Beach International Airport, but because concrete has to be poured within 90 minutes of being batched, the plant must operate when no flights are scheduled to land on the runway.

Gilland said she spoke to the neighbor and negotiated that the plant would only operate for 10 more nights throughout the next few weeks. The county will then approach the city of Myrtle Beach about the option of building a temporary batch plant adjacent to the runway on the airport property to handle the upcoming airport and business park projects.

Roads

The committee voted to eliminate emergency road maintenance on private roads, which was a friendly service offered to Horry County residents but not funded in the budget. The resolution will go before the full council at the April 20 meeting. Infrastructure and Regulations Division Director Steve Gosnell said eliminating the practice would help alleviate the strain the requests put on the road maintenance department's already stretched budget.

Food vending

An ordinance to allow food vending permits for unincorporated areas of the county will also go before the full council for first reading on April 20. The ordinance, which was negotiated by an ad-hoc committee of the planning council, would allow mobile food vending in commercial districts with some specific regulations. Only a certain number of vendors would be allowed in different zones, and fewer would be allowed east of the waterway because none of the cities or towns in Horry County allow for the practice.

The vendors would have to adhere to a S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control list of acceptable foods, have a home base operation that met DHEC standards for food preparation, submit to an DHEC inspection, obtain a county business license and pay a yearly fee of $300 for operations west of the Intracoastal Waterway or $750 for operations east of the waterway. The vendors will also be required to have an existing structure and parking on the premises of where they set up to ensure bathrooms and other county requirements are met.

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