A town on South Carolina’s Grand Strand has given tentative approval to banning tents on its beaches.
The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports that Surfside Beach endorsed the idea last week.
The rule would allow umbrellas and tents for small children. The ordinance must get one more vote before it becomes law.
Surfside Beach is the last town along the Grand Strand to allow the tents. Town officials say some people have been setting up tents that stay on the beach all day.
Councilman Randle Stevens said Surfside Beach has looked like a refugee camp compared to neighboring Garden City, which doesn’t allow tents on the beach.
Laws against beach tents were put on the books in Horry County towns in recent years along the Grand Strand to aid in public safety, clearing the ocean view for lifeguards, beach patrols and visitors and clearing the way for first responders rushing to emergencies.
Tents became a hot issue as their popularity grew along Grand Strand beaches, prompting public safety officials to complain the sea of canopies blocked their view of the beach and posed hurdles for emergency vehicles. Tents were also claiming larger chunks of prime coastal real estate as visitors jockeyed for views on crowded shorelines.