By Paul Gable
Myrtle Beach city council and staff are apparently engaging in an elaborate smokescreen to mask the real reason behind the proposed family friendly zoning for Ocean Boulevard.
When council passed first reading of the ordinance establishing a family friendly zone on the boulevard between 16th Avenue North and 6th Avenue South the reason given was to make the boulevard safer.
It seems, according to the party line, that selling t-shirts and other novelty items with ‘suggestive’ phrases on them and the sale of hookahs and knives caused the spate of shootings which have become all too common on Ocean Boulevard.
It doesn’t seem to make any difference that all these items are sold legally and, in fact, have been sold for many years in many other areas of Myrtle Beach including other sections of the boulevard and in Coastal Grand Mall. For some reason, they only have this strange effect between 16th Avenue North and 6th Avenue South.
If you believe that one, I know of a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.
This action appears to fit into a bigger plan that has been talked about for decades. I submit this is the second step in a larger plan that began when the city used a ‘secret agent’ to buy up land in the superblock and now plans to use eminent domain to obtain the last several parcels that it couldn’t get secretly.
It is interesting to note that despite much talk about a new location for the Children’s Museum and Chapin Memorial Library, no money exists in the city budget to build such a structure.
It appears that this attempt to harass business owners in the proposed family friendly zone may well be nothing more than an attempt to create more empty buildings that can be bought, either secretly or overtly, at reduced prices by the city.
The visions, maybe we should call them hallucinations, by certain members of council and city staff for a large new development in these general areas still remain, even though the expectation of Chinese money went up in smoke.
Rather than working with current businesses to bring the downtown area back to its former levels, these grandiose dreams of unreality appear to be driving these poor decisions.