The war being waged by the City of Myrtle Beach against certain long time businesses on Ocean Boulevard will be the subject of a hearing before the S. C. Supreme Court Thursday.
In an interesting twist, the hearing will take place in a special session of the court at Coastal Carolina University. The venue is not the important part of this matter. It is the issue of whether Myrtle Beach, or any local government, can arbitrarily treat certain businesses differently than it treats similar businesses elsewhere in its jurisdiction.
As a bit of background, this issue goes back four and one-half years to August 2018 when the city passed an ordinance which banned the sale of products such as hookah pipes, tobacco, CBD oil and what it calls sexually suggestive merchandise within an overlay district along Ocean Boulevard that the city designated a “Family Friendly” District.
The sale of these products, all of which are entirely legal products, was not banned citywide. They were banned only within the confines of the “Family Friendly” district arbitrarily designated by the ordinance.
The merchants affected by the ordinance filed suit against the city and it is this lawsuit that will be the subject of Thursday’s hearing.
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