The Horry County Council Ad hoc Committee on Sexually Oriented Businesses met on Thursday and voted in favor of the proposed ordinances that would restrict adult entertainment businesses in our area.
The ordinances would regulate where adult entertainment businesses can operate in the county and who can actually work at these businesses.
Under the proposed ordinance, entertainment venues should be separated by 1,500 feet from areas including parks, schools, and churches.
It also states that people can't apply for a job if they've been convicted of a crime, such as prostitution, in the previous five years.
The ordinances will be brought before the full council for a second reading August 13, and if it is passed then, there will still be one more vote before they can become law.
Dozens of people attended Thursday's meeting and several chose to speak during the public input session at the end of the meeting. Most of those who spoke were in favor of the new ordinances.
County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier told WPDE NewsChannel 15 that she has seen an increase in the number of people who attend these types of meetings.
"We've seen a larger increase of attention by the public to these ordinances and more people come out speaking in support of these ordinances," said Bourcier.
This includes Darren Squires, who is pastor of Socastee Freewill Baptist Church. For the past three weeks Squires has gone beyond the podium with his push for these adult entertainment ordinances to pass.
"We've been reaching out in our community asking for petitionary signatures, some door to door, some through the church, local businesses," Squires said.
In his first week, Squires said he collected around 1,000 signatures in favor of the new ordinances.
He said many of those who signed the petition believe that their quality of life will improve if these ordinances pass.
"The community is changing from anyone who had moved here in the last several years. They've noticed we've went from the family beach to now an adult mecca. Now it's a shame. I want our beach back. I want our hometown to be what it used to be," Squires said.