The Market Common master plan has gone through its share of changes over the past decade and it soon may change again, but residents are urging city leaders to be careful with the urban village’s continued, explosive growth.
Myrtle Beach Planning Director Carol Coleman says there have been 175 tweaks to the master plan in all so far and the changes have varied. Most recently, landowners asked the city to allow them to replace 33 live/work units with 23 townhomes and 88 townhomes with 50 single family residences on three of The Market Common lots still to be developed. Old plans for extra retail and extra parking were scrapped in the changes, which upset the neighbors.
"We’ve got a parking problem out here," said Ed Carey, who lives in The Market Common.
Toffino’s Italian Bakery & Deli owner Phil Pecora told city leaders April 12 that parking will become an even bigger issue as The Market Common continues to grow.
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As more people come for special events, tournaments at Grand Park and other events at The Market Common, the lack of parking will become more evident, he said.
The HomeFed Corp. that owns and markets The Market Common to developers agreed to remove one of the lot’s changes under the plan. An ordinance to approve the amendments to the plan passed a first reading two weeks ago.
The revised plan will come up for a final reading and vote at the Myrtle Beach City Council meeting Tuesday.
But the draft that passed the first reading left Carey concerned. Although HomeFed had agreed to table changes to a lot that called for replacing 23 of the 33 proposed live/work units with 23 townhomes, the group’s initial request was still in the ordinance.
Myrtle Beach City Council meets Tuesday to discuss items before the council at 9 a.m. at Ground Zero, 904 Chester St. The council will vote on agenda items at its 2 p.m. meeting in council chambers at the Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center, 1101 N. Oak St.
With the lot’s removal from the amendments, the ordinance should have read, "eliminating 10 live/work units and 88 townhomes to be replaced by 50 single family" residences, Carey said.
City spokesman Mark Kruea agreed the removal of the lot from the ordinance will require some change in the numbers of converted units and eliminated parking spaces.
"We’ll re-calculate and update the ordinance for Tuesday," he said.
HomeFed agreed to reexamine the master plan for The Market Common and establish a subcommittee with residents to address parking issues and other concerns raised under the plan.
Coleman said that the changes also include personal parking garages for each of the new residential units.
Council members discussed options for future parking at The Market Common, eyeing empty lots not owned by HomeFed or the city.
But Carey says purchasing a land for parking with taxpayer money instead of salvaging parking already etched in the master plan doesn’t make sense.
Pecora urged city leaders to deal with the parking issue now before approving more changes to the master plan that lead to more development.