Myrtle Beach steps up code enforcement

First impressions send a message, and we want the message to be that Ocean Boulevard and areas east of Kings Highway are fun, inviting places for our millions of visitors to explore.  Most property owners understand the importance of keeping their property clean, free of trash and weeds, and well-maintained, but a little extra effort goes a long way.

We sometimes forget that our visitors are seeing Myrtle Beach for the first time.  What looks routine to us – the tall grass, unpainted fence or pile of debris waiting to be removed – can send the wrong message.  Actions speak loudly, and we want our actions to say, “We care about our appearance.

To send the right message, the City of Myrtle Beach has hired two code enforcement officers specifically to keep an eye on properties east of Kings Highway in the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation area.  The goal is to improve the district’s appearance and maintenance, while also boosting property values and reducing opportunities for crime.

The two code enforcement officers are on the job now, looking for code violations and notifying property owners.  Violations can include overgrown weeds, graffiti, an accumulation of trash or debris, abandoned appliances, poorly-maintained buildings, obsolete or illegal signs, outside merchandise displays and other property maintenance issues.

We are in the initial 30-day enforcement period, when the code enforcement officers will issue courtesy violations.  After that, strict enforcement begins, with specified times for compliance.  If the violations remain unchecked, the city can suspend the business license or file a lien on the property to recover the public’s cost of cleaning up or repairing the problem.

Ocean Boulevard and the area between Kings Highway and the Atlantic Ocean is our “front door,” if you will, for residents and millions of visitors.  With this new code enforcement effort, the City of Myrtle Beach and downtown property owners will ensure that it’s an attractive and inviting environment for our guests.

The new code officials will work evenings and weekends, year round, and will be responsible for reducing visual clutter by proactively eliminating most common code violations in the district.  They will also identify potential structural and habitability issues.  Two existing property maintenance inspectors will follow up on issues identified by the code enforcement staff, to make sure they are handled in a timely way.

This new effort is intended to be aggressive and proactive, and property owners are on notice that they will be held accountable.  In addition, city cameras will also been added at the following locations to monitor and identify any illegal dumping…

• 1st Avenue and Flagg Street
• 3rd Avenue North and Flagg Street
• 7th Avenue North and Flagg Street
• 9th Avenue North and Withers Drive
• 15th Avenue North and Withers Drive
• 18th Avenue North and Withers Drive
• 73rd Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard
• 15th Avenue South and Yaupon Drive
• 18th Avenue South and Cassandra Lane
• 23rd Avenue South and Ocean Boulevard
• 26-27th Avenue South Alleyway

Enforcement will be handled on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature and type of the violation.  Property owners will have from 24 hours up to 30 days, depending on the violation, to achieve compliance.  A municipal ordinance summons will be issued for non-compliance.

Want to help our city look its best?  Report illegal dumping or possible code violations as soon as possible.  Visit our Citizen Request Center to alert city staff to the issue and location.  Or, call 843-918-1111.