July 25, 2014

North Myrtle Beach bans beach tents, canopies

In a 4-2 vote, the North Myrtle Beach city council decided to ban the use of beach tents and canopies on the shore during the summer.

The proposed ordinance approved Monday would ban the use of any device to provide shade other than beach umbrellas during the summer. The umbrellas would not be able to have a diameter greater than 9 feet. The ban would only apply during the summer tourism season from May 15 to Sept. 15.

In the law, an umbrella is defined as “a collapsible circular shade consisting of a natural or synthetic fabric shade stretched over hinged ribs radiating from a central pole without grounding lines or ropes.”

The use of large collapsible beach tents has been debated along the Grand Strand for years. Emergency officials worry the canopies they can block emergency vehicles from moving along the beach.

But other councilmembers worry the enforcement is inconsistent across the various cities and towns that make up the Grand Strand. The city of Myrtle Beach and Horry County Council are also in the process of enacting similar rules. Horry County’s proposed ordinance would bar the tents year-round.