NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The North Myrtle Beach City Council approved a zoning overlay to allow for bigger hotels and condos in part of Crescent Beach.
City leaders and the people who call the quiet beach home have been divided for months over revitalization talks for the area. Now, people living by the ocean in Crescent Beach could have some new neighbors soon.
After months of debate, the North Myrtle Beach city council approved a zoning overlay for the area that could welcome hundreds of new people to the small community.
The new zoning would allow for a set-up like a 160-foot condo or hotel on the beach, with a nine-story parking garage across the street.
It’s a proposal that’s seen its fair share of criticism and compromise because it could mean a very new look for Crescent Beach.
The North Myrtle Beach Planning Commission voted in favor of new zoning on February 22.
At that meeting, not a single member of the public in attendance supported the idea.
The council meeting Monday night wasn’t much different.
“I can honestly say I am not happy about going to 165 feet on our oceanfront, but I am very pleased that we were able to come to a compromise,” said Crescent Beach resident Debby LaPierre.
LaPierre made sure the North Myrtle Beach city council was aware of her concerns about the possibility of a massive hotel or condo going up on the beach right before it took a definitive vote on the matter.
She doesn’t want the beach to lose the family-friendly atmosphere that convinced her and her family to pack up and move here in the first place.
“We decided we wanted to go back to a place we thoroughly enjoyed,” LaPierre said. “We all had great memories of.”
LaPierre and several of her fellow Crescent Beach neighbors were concerned with a proposal that would allow 165-foot structures on either side of Ocean Boulevard in the center of the community.
The city council acknowledge those concerns and came up with a compromise LaPierre could live with – 165 feet on the beach, but only 90 across the street.
“Certainly a positive,” said North Myrtle Beach City Councilman Fred Coyne. “I’m not so sure I wouldn’t mind seeing us do that in a lot more areas of the beach itself.”
The first floor of the 90-foot building will have to be dedicated to commercial space.
LaPierre already has some ideas to fill it.
“I think things that the kids could enjoy,” said LaPierre. “We like to see the kids on the beach. We really believe in a family environment.”
The city council approved the zoning unanimously. Coyne believes it’s one of many steps they’ll need to take to revitalize the area.
“It’s just like one more piece to the puzzle, and essentially, the overlay was another piece to that puzzle,” Coyne said.
These new 165-foot hotels or condos would certainly be the most eye-catching addition to Crescent Beach, but Coyne says they may not be the only additions in the pipeline.
He says several property owners have plans to develop along 17th Avenue South with buildings that would allow for a commercial element on the first floor and a couple of floors of residential space above it.
Copyright 2022 WMBF. All rights reserved.