Myrtle Beach City Council could improve your cell phone coverage as soon as July 8th.
The council is in the second phase of allowing cell phone providers to put more towers in the area. Cell providers tell council members they need to continue placing these facilities to keep up with the demand.
"They are working with planning commission and the cell phone providers into drafting an ordinance that would provide more cell phone towers," said Wayne Gray, Myrtle Beach City Council member.
Because during the summer months, more people are in the Myrtle Beach area, that leads to more of a demand for coverage and usage.
"When we get a lot of visitors in town like this July 4th holiday, they will bring their cell phones with them, so they will overload the existing capacity that we have here. Depending on what their cell phone provider is, you may have difficulty getting service or coverage," said Mark Kruea, City of Myrtle Beach spokesman.
Cell providers say they are running out of room to put towers on commercial land. Cell phone facilities can currently be found on top of high rise hotels and city water towers. This ordinance would allow cell providers to place facilities on private land.
"Once you start moving out of the public land and onto the private land, particularly when you start adding it to non-industrial land, you want to be very protective to that the placement. You want to keep in mind the feel, the size, the look, so it's not a nuisance," said Gray.
But Myrtle Beach officials say your backyard would not likely be a possibility. According to this proposed ordinance, the cell phone providers would first have to look at placing facilities in commercial areas.
Kruea says the providers must try co-locations, so that if a cell phone tower is built, maybe two or three other cell phone companies could use that tower as well.
Plus he say a residential area would be an absolute last resort.
Gray said if they have to be put in residential areas, he is concerned with how the city would notify the residents. He says that is something he would like to clarify further with other council members.
"The last thing we want is a 100 foot and 50 foot tower going in to into somebody's backyard in a residential community. And let me say that that is not going to happen. The reality of that is slim to none," said Gray.
Myrtle Beach City Council is scheduled to vote on the second reading of this ordinance on July 8th.