Memorial Day approaches, still no beach tent resolution

On Tuesday, Myrtle Beach and Horry County leaders looked at ways to handle what some call the growing beach tent problem on our area's beaches.

Over the years, the canopy-style beach tents have become a public safety issue, according to local leaders and law enforcement. They say the tents block the line of sight for lifeguards.

Tuesday, Horry County Council members had a workshop to figure out how to handle the issue.

WPDE NewsChannel 15 spoke with Horry County Chairman Mark Lazarus after the meeting about the options council members are considering.

"It looked like council was looking at two options. One was a year round ban, just permanently banning them. Or a time, which would be consistent with what North Myrtle Beach is doing which is from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend," Lazarus said.

Council members will consider both options and draft an amendment to be read at the next council meeting.

In addition, the Myrtle Beach City Council also voted on what to about beach tents Tuesday afternoon.

One option would ban tents between Memorial Day and Labor Day citywide, while the other option would ban tents only in commercial areas between Memorial and Labor Days, according to Myrtle Beach city spokesman Mark Kruea.

"Both of those failed three to four," Kruea said.

Both Kruea and Lazarus said they would like to create a uniform law that can apply to all beaches to avoid confusion from year-round residents and tourists.

The current beach tent law is complex, which restricts where tents can be placed, and how big and far apart from each other they can be.

Local law enforcement said banning tents from the beaches will help them do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

"It's easy to tell them it's not allowed as opposed to trying to figure out who owns one of these tents and moving this one and moving that one and trying to comply with the laws," said Horry County Police Lt. Mark Bonner.

Discussions will continue at both council meetings next month.