Myrtle Beach City council continues first reading of ordinance banning offensive merchandise


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Myrtle Beach City Council voted to continue first reading of a proposed ordinance that would ban potentially offensive and inappropriate items from being sold in shops along the downtown boardwalk.

Myrtle Beach officials have looked at creating the Ocean Boulevard Entertainment Overlay District to officially mark the area for family-friendly entertainment and retail, without an unfriendly environment that promotes crudity, drug use and weapons.

The zone would ban certain items from being sold, such as drug paraphernalia, merchandise with graphics or symbols depicting sexual activities, and weapons such as knives and artificial knuckles.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, one business owner wanted to make sure he could still sell tobacco products, which is allowed under the ordinance.

Several business owners spoke in favor of banning the sale certain items. However, the legality of it was questioned.

“You have things that legally you have to be able to allow people to sell, but we can zone it where it doesn’t have to be in that area,” said Mayor John Rhodes. “It can be in some other area. It’s just like topless bars. We have an area that’s zoned where topless bars are allowed to go.”

The proposed ordinance will go to the planning commission for review. City officials plan to work with businesses to come up with a solution.

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