MB planning board approves downtown zoning changes

The Myrtle Beach Planning Commission has given its unanimous approval to a revitalization plan for the downtown area.

The commission approved zoning changes that would give downtown merchants some new options for their businesses.

The new zoning districts, dubbed Fame One and Fame Two, would allow businesses in the Superblock area and along Broadway Street to put out sandwich board signs, add outdoor tables and use other amenities that weren't allowed before. The Superblock is defined as the area between 7th and 9th Avenues North and between North Oak Street and Kings Highway.

One Broadway business owner says it's a great idea that could bring some life back to a couple of aging districts.

"It's a really good move to bring a market identity back to the downtown area and help the merchants out in the downtown area," said Kate Phillips, owner of Studio K.

Plans have been put forward to revitalize downtown commercial districts before, but Phillips says this time, more merchants are on board.

"There's a lot more cohesiveness with the merchants as a group and I feel like that we can move ahead this time. I'm optimistic about it."

Kathy O'Hara owns The Tavrne on Broadway Street, where she attempted to put out a sandwich board sign on the sidewalk last year. A city official told her to take the sign down, or the city would take it away.

O'Hara supports the zoning changes and says she hopes they'll bring about some needed changes to beautify the area.

"Just to get like the sidewalks done, get the frontages done on the buildings, clean up the lots, just make it look like it's appealing," O'Hara said.

The zoning changes now move on to the city council for approval.