Horry County Council has a final chance to stop passage of an illegal fireworks ordinance at its regular meeting Tuesday night.
If a majority of council insists on voting to approve third reading of Ordinance 155-2021 “providing for the regulation of the discharge of fireworks within the county by the way of establishing county no fireworks areas”, as the agenda item reads, council will have accomplished nothing other than opening the county up to another waste of taxpayer dollars lawsuit that it will lose.
This proposed ordinance has received no better legal scrutiny than the one that saw council unilaterally eliminate the sunset clause on the county’s original hospitality fee legislation under the urging of Mark Lazarus. The county lost every court ruling in the lawsuit challenging that action before coming to a settlement with the cities that challenged the ordinance.
GSD has contacted representatives of the fireworks industry who have said the association will immediately challenge the legality of the ordinance in court, if it is passed.
The state fireworks association is already seriously considering challenging the fireworks prohibition ordinances in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, which are also illegal under state law.
Readers should note Surfside Beach recently made major amendments to fireworks prohibitions within the town limits similar to those in place in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. Discussion among council about removing fireworks prohibitions in Surfside Beach centered around the illegality of the prohibitions.
Why would county council consider passing an ordinance that so clearly ignores the requirements outlined in state law for establishing fireworks prohibited zones?
Why would county staff draft an ordinance that clearly ignores state law?
Political considerations apparently outweighing obeying state law in this case.
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