A new law could allow the consumption of alcohol in public thoroughfares in certain places.

North Myrtle Beach City Council on Monday gave initial approval to an ordinance that would allow the public consumption of alcohol in certain designated areas.

The proposed ordinance would give city council the authority to approve "festival zones" where applicants who own a "shopping and/or entertainment destination" of at least 10 acres could apply for a special designation where the consumption of beer or wine in public areas would be allowed.

The amendment to the city's alcohol laws was requested by Burroughs & Chapin Co. to allow for alcohol consumption in parts of Barefoot Landing, according to city documents. 

Planning Director James Wood said in addition to Barefoot Landing, the Coastal North Town Center is also big enough to apply for the designation.

"We picked 10 acres because we thought that that was sort of a good threshold where a project would have enough size and synergy to make use of it while not lending it to any one applicant," James said. 

The ordinance would allow for the consumption of only wine or beer "within or at any permanent festival zone, temporary festival or event sponsored by the city, while in an area depicted on a diagram attached to the application for the festival or event."

The beer or wine could only be consumed in clear plastic cups and be sold by licensed vendors within the zone, the ordinance says, and the applicant would have to submit a management plan showing how they plan to contain the drinking to within the confines of the zone. 

The ordinance still has to pass a second vote before it becomes law.


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