Perspective: Tent ban on beaches is confusing for tourists

The following Perspective is an expression of opinion by the Editorial Board at WIS, and presented by General Manager Donita Todd.

In recent weeks, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and now Horry County have passed new ordinances banning tents on the beach. The driving forces behind this ruling are that tents have become more prolific, hogging space and ruining the view for people on the beach, but more importantly that they block access for emergency vehicles. Garden City, which is part of the unincorporated Horry County ban, connects to Surfside which has not banned tents on their beaches, and therein lies the problem.

When people are on the beach, particularly tourists,  they don't necessarily know where one jurisdiction starts and another one ends. There are no walls between the different areas so there's an opportunity for lots of confusion when regulations vary from beach to beach. For example, Horry County's ban is year-round, while North Myrtle Beach' s plan runs May 15 through September 15.

There are differences of opinion about banning tents on the beach, but it seems that getting the word out and enforcing these restrictions will be a big task for this summer season, and that a consistent policy across all of the Grand Strand makes more sense than to have different rules for different beach areas.

That's my perspective, what's yours?

Write to Perspective at P.O. Box 367, Columbia, SC 29202, or send an email.

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