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RESULTS: October 5 City Council Meeting
Posted by Century 21 Thomas Blogger | Tuesday, October 6, 2015


During their October 5 meeting, the North Myrtle Beach City Council passed a Resolution adopting the Hazard Mitigation Plan Update of 2015 as an official City plan. The Citys current rating under the plan results in a total savings of about $1.3 million for North Myrtle Beach property owners who pay flood insurance premiums. The City aims to maintain and, if feasible, improve its rating under the updated plan.
For local governments to remain eligible for future FEMA grants and funding the city is required to prepare and adopt a Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Hazard Mitigation Plan is also a requirement of the Community Rating System (CRS) program in which the City participates. The Hazard Mitigation Plan Committee, together with a consultant hired by the City, has been holding meetings since February of 2015 to prepare the updated plan.
On September 21 City Council held a public hearing on the Hazard Mitigation Plan prepared by the committee. Berry Williams, the consultant, gave a presentation at that hearing, along with some recommendations for the next five years that could improve the city's preparedness for floods and other hazards. There were no comments from the public at the hearing.
City Council passed second (final) reading of an ordinance to approve the sale of property to Santee Cooper and authorized the City Manager to sign the documents necessary for the transaction.
In 2012, the City purchased property from Horry County for future expansion for a water tank site, a wastewater pump station site, and a future electric substation site. The latter site was intended for future sale to Santee Cooper. Santee Cooper is now ready to purchase the site. The City acquired the site from Horry County for $79,000, and Santee Cooper will pay the same amount of money to the City.
Council passed second reading of a request to amend the Surf Estates Planned Development District (PDD). Nick Nye, authorized agent for Cherry, LLC, requested an amendment to the Surf Estates PDD to allow changes to the previously approved Commercial "8" portion of the project. Specifically, the owner wanted to change an allowed single-use gas station to a three-unit commercial building, which includes a gas station with parking and rear connector adjustments, adding a drive-up window with two order lanes, and a new connecting center lane providing access to Sea Mountain Highway.
The commercial building will be split into three separate tenants, with one unit to be used as a gas station/convenience store, one unit as a restaurant, and one unit as a retail shop. The gas station/convenience store will be 1,800 square feet, the restaurant 2,000 square feet, and the shop 1,600 square feet, for a total of 5,400 square feet. Additionally, there will be six gas pumps, consistent with the approved plans.
Council passed first reading of an ordinance to amend Chapter 20, Land Development Regulations to clarify when a financial guarantee may apply to final subdivision plats.
City staff initiated a text amendment to the Land Development Regulations to clarify when a financial guarantee may apply to final subdivision plats, if the final inspection and acceptance list has not been completed to the Citys satisfaction. The request is a housekeeping item, but approving the revision would ensure that the public works department would not be exposed should a developer fail to comply with the necessary protocols when seeking final plat review and approval.
Council passed first reading of an ordinance to amend Chapter 20, Land Development Regulations to remove the availability of the local street 40 foot right of way (two travel lanes, sidewalk, and landscaping) cross-section in residential areas.
Within the 40 foot cross-section there is 20 feet of travel lane, 3 feet of curb and gutter, 9 feet of tree lawn, and 8 feet of sidewalk. A recurring issue occurs when public works department personnel must respond to repair damaged water meters that have been placed within the public right of way, but are also immediately adjacent to private property. Property owners yards must be disturbed in order to fix the meters. This results in extra work for the city in order to resolve property owner concerns and complaints about the work and its impact on private property.
The proposed amendment would no longer permit 40 foot public rights of way in residential settings but would allow them in commercial settings. Residential development would use the next available right of way minimum width of 50 feet (22 feet of travel lane, 4 feet of curb and gutter, 16 feet of tree and lawn, and 8 feet of sidewalk). This would allow for greater separation from private property in residential areas.
Council passed first reading of amendment to the Land Development Regulations text to change the definition of a minor subdivision by including properties located in a flood zone.
Staff has initiated a text amendment to the Land Development Regulations to allow properties located in a flood zone to be considered minor subdivisions and reviewed at the administrative level, if the subdivision otherwise meets the criteria for administrative review.

In 2014, the regulations were revised to exempt properties possessing flood zones located outside of the building envelope to be considered minor subdivisions, but continued to identify those with flood zones in the building envelope as major subdivisions. The proposed amendment would alleviate the burden of Planning Commission review, when the plat would otherwise be classified as minor, and would allow city departments to officially determine if a property meets subdivision regulations. These cases usually involve small, three to four lot subdivision requests, and the existing requirement for Planning Commission review places an unnecessary burden on the applicant.



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