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Photo by Pat DowlingLeft to right are Kurt Ribelin, Bernie Lowe, Chad Lewis, Judy Childers, Mike Baldasarre and Mike Bienkoski. These city employees received longevity awards during the Monday night City Council meeting.

Council approves special event permits

During the Feb. 4 North Myrtle Beach City Council meeting, over which Mayor Pro Tempore Terry White presided while Mayor Marilyn Hatley was in Columbia on city business, six city employees were presented with Employee Longevity Awards. The awards are given in five-year increments to employees who provide excellent customer service. Receiving the awards were Captain of Professional Standards Michael Baldasarre (25 years of service), Community Services Sergeant Michael Bienkoski (25), Aquatic Supervisor Judy Childers (5), Crew Leader I Dan Lewis (5), Crew Leader II Bernie Lowe, and Facility Maintenance Technician Kurt Ribelin (5).
City Council approved a special event permit for the March 16 St. Patrick’s Day Parade beginning at 9 a.m. on Main Street.

City Council approved a special event permit for the March 16 St. Patrick’s Day Festival, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Main Street. The festival includes about 150 vendors, three stages offering live music and a children’s area offering rides and amusements.

City Council adopted a resolution in support of implementing a long-term strategy to reduce the presence of single-use non-biodegradable plastics in the North Myrtle Beach environment.

In its resolution, Council states that it is committed to “supporting the continuous improvement of health, environmental stewardship and overall quality of life in our community.”

Council notes that the community is heavily dependent on tourism and to sustain that activity, it is necessary to provide visitors with a high quality, clean, safe, environmentally responsible experience.

Single-use non-biodegradable plastics are increasingly coming into focus as a threat to land and sea, and an important source of environmental and habitat damage, in addition to being an eyesore when disposed of improperly.

City Council supports a multi-pronged approach to the problem of reducing single-use non-biodegradable plastics that includes:
Providing more focused efforts on litter control and cleanup, and proper disposal of the plastics through a campaign of education and community cleanup drives;

Aggressive lobbying for local control of this and similar issues, and aggressive opposition of any state legislative initiatives that would hinder local control;

Expanding community education initiatives highlighting the threat to our environment posed by the plastics, and providing resources to citizens to help them find alternative products;
Working with the local business community to help businesses phase out use of the plastics in their packaging and processing activities in a manner that is cost-effective;

Gradually phasing in targeted local legislation dealing with certain sub-types of the plastics (Example: single-use plastic grocery bags) as alternatives become cost effective and readily available.

The city is also working on an ordinance pertaining to this issue, scheduled for first reading at the March 4 City Council meeting. There is only one Council meeting in February.

City Council passed second (final) reading of an ordinance amending the Town Centre area in the Barefoot Resort Planned Development District. The amendment revised the portion of the Town Centre area of the Barefoot Resort Planned Development District on vacant land alongside the Intracoastal Waterway and marina. Barefoot Cottage Village is destined for the site. It is a residential neighborhood described by its developers as “reminiscent of the simple life of small town America” and offers 274 in-common cottage units ranging in size from 510 square feet to 1,292 square feet.

Changes required by City Council prior to passage of second reading included the developer’s agreement that no rentals of units within the project may be for a term less than 30 days, and the developer will pay an $1,100 per unit beach parking fee at the time of building permit application. The per-unit parking fee goes into a fund to support improved and new beachfront public parking opportunities.

City Council passed second reading of an ordinance to amend the Beach Cove Ocean Resort Planned Development District (PDD) changing the monument sign located on South Ocean Boulevard at 48th Avenue South. The changes include adding a LED display screen to the sign. The screen will display information about resort events, amber alerts and local weather. Screen brightness will vary to meet day and night viewing requirements.

City Council passed first reading of a proposed ordinance to rezone one lot of about 1.96 acres located off Commons Boulevard behind California Dreaming from HC (Highway Commercial) to R-2A (Midrise Multifamily Residential).

Access to Commons Boulevard would be further scrutinized at the subdivision or site plan level of city review.

City Council passed first reading of a proposed ordinance to amend several sections within Chapter 3 of the City’s Code of Ordinances entitled, “Alcoholic Beverages”, to allow for the establishment of a festival zone, which would allow beer and wine to be consumed in approved areas of shopping and/or entertainment destinations of 10 or more acres.
If the proposed amendment passes final reading before City Council, a property owner could apply to the city for a permit to have a festival zone within their location.

The application process would require the property owner to submit a map depicting the exact boundaries of the desired festival zone, a detailed narrative of how the property owner would manage the possession and consumption of beer and wine within the festival zone and other facts.

The property owner would submit the permit application to the city manager and drector of Public Safety for review and comment and a recommendation to City Council at least 30 days prior to the meeting at which City Council would consider the permit request.

If Council approves a permit request for a festival zone, the city manager would monitor compliance of the approved plan. If the City Manager determines that a permit holder has violated the terms or parameters of an approved festival zone, the City Manager at his sole discretion would have the authority to suspend or revoke a festival zone permit.

City Council tabled until its March 4 meeting a proposed ordinance to amend the Prince Planned Development District to allow for a Hampton Inn & Suites hotel and parking garage. Placing overhead utilities underground is a requirement of all planned development districts. City staff has recommended that the developer pay a fee in lieu of completing the utilities work in order to align the work with SCDOT’s schedule for placing overhead utilities underground along Ocean Boulevard. Negotiations regarding the fee are underway.

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