North Myrtle Beach city leaders discuss overcrowded boat landing plans
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Concerns about overcrowding at the Cherry Grove Landing have prompted North Myrtle Beach city leaders to take action regarding kayakers.
Officials held a workshop Wednesday afternoon to discuss the plans, which include a $400,000 renovation.
Part of the plan is to create two separate landing stages for recreational kayakers and one for commercial kayaking businesses that thrive on larger group visits.
“The biggest problem we have is congestion,” said John Bullard, director of parks and recreation for the City of North Myrtle Beach.
To help with parking, the city is looking to add another lot to double the current space which would become a paid lot for non-residents, charging $2.00 per hour.
The biggest changes would affect those who kayak in the area, especially commercial kayaking businesses offering larger group tours.
The city is seeking to limit the number of commercial travel agencies to six and would charge a 7% gross revenue fee on tours and equipment rentals operating from the 53rd Avenue boat launch. North.
However, Hatley felt that 7% was not enough given the city’s spending to renovate the neighborhood.
“We’re going to pave, you’re going to have to watch the area, we’re going to add signage, so I think 7% is too low, I’d like to see around 10% raw,” she said.
In addition to fees, kayak businesses will also be limited to two vehicles with a trailer and a maximum of 24 kayaks.
Kokopelli Surf Camp, owned by Wyatt Todd, is one such kayaking company that operates out of the area, feeling that some of these recommendations were too restrictive.
“If you want to take the 10%, that’s fine, but we should be able to make money at the boat launch – but we’re no different from the people who work on the beach, we don’t nor do we have sole ownership of the ramp which we share with five other companies,” he said.
Several other kayak companies are concerned that 10% is too high and want the city to be open to future discussions.
None of the recommendations are set in stone at this time, but Hatley and the board members were happy with what they believe is an excellent starting point.
“We might have to change a few of these things down the road, but it’s a good start,” Hatley said.
This new paid lot would use the new license plate readers during the paid parking season.
For official approval of the recommended plans, they will have to appear before the city council for a formal vote at a later date.
Copyright 2022 WMBF. All rights reserved.