Lawsuit expected fighting annexation of two Horry County neighborhoods

Residents in two Horry County neighborhoods have now voted to be annexed into Myrtle Beach, but that doesn't mean it's a done deal.

A few businesses in the affected area plan to fight it.

In the Waterside and Bridgeport neighborhoods enough residents voted Tuesday in favor of annexation to send it on to Myrtle Beach City Council for approval.

"Personally, I would be in favor of annexation because of the police and fire protection, the trash (collection). It would allow us to use the city facilities," said Adrian Weatherwax, president of the Bridgeport Homeowners Association board of directors.

About a dozen businesses are included in the annexed area, though their owners were not allowed to vote on it.

They say their business license fees would go up astronomically if they were annexed.

The lawyer representing a couple of car dealerships says their legal fight is about taxation without representation.

"We're talking about a lot of money that's coming from businesses that don't even have a say-so in whether they're annexed into the city," said attorney Thomas Brittain.

Residents concerned about poor roads in their neighborhoods could have asked Horry County to create a special tax district, allowing them to pay for repairs over a period of years.

Weatherwax said she wasn't aware of that, but does empathize with the car dealers.

"I feel badly that they're going to be assessed what appears to be huge amounts of money, but by the same token, we're the little guy in this and we have nothing to lose by becoming part of the city."

Brittain said the principle involved could take the case all the way to the state's highest court.

"My clients don't have a ballot box to go to, they can't vote. They have to go to court to try to get what we think is fairness here."

Brittain said he plans to file a suit within about ten days.

The city's spokesman told NewsChannel 15 the city won't comment on pending litigation.

The results of the annexation vote will be certified Thursday.