Girls soccer

Myrtle Beach Christian Academy’s Jordan Hall shoots in the match with Socastee in the Michael B. Nash Soccer Tournament at the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex in 2018. The city of North Myrtle Beach on Monday passed first reading of a budget amendment to borrow money for a 96-acre expansion. 

North Myrtle Beach leaders plan to borrow $4.25 million to buy 96 acres of land adjacent to the south side of the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex, according to an ordinance that city council passed on first reading Monday. 

The new ordinance amends the budget to allow for the borrowing, but the city will still have to vote again on actually borrowing the money. Even then, the city could choose to bond the land and park facility expansions at the same time. 

“We’re in the early stage of this,” said North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley. “We had to adjust the budget first so that we can borrow the money. But I’m sure what we will do is we will roll the cost of the land into the building addition of the sports complex and bond the whole amount.” 

Council also tabled a number of other ordinances that passed first reading at the last meeting. Those ordinances would allow for the extension of Champions Boulevard and approve the rezoning needed for several new developments along that boulevard. 

“There’s some legal paperwork that needs to be completed,” the mayor said. “I think they’ll be on next month's [agenda].”

Those delayed ordinances will allow for some new developments, including one capped at 750 units, and can be built along the future extension of Champions Boulevard. Plans call for Champions Boulevard to be extended to Long Bay Road, and later Water Tower Road. The ordinance calls for the city to reimburse the landowner, Sandridge, to $1,050,000 by the end of 2022 if the company elects to extend Champions Boulevard before the city does. 

Another development is planned between Champions Boulevard and Park Pointe neighborhood, as long as a rezoning ordinance passes that will lower the density in that parcel and allow for residential units up to four stories.

Plans also call for another lane on Champions Boulevard running from Robert Edge Parkway until it ends in a designated left turn lane into Park Pointe. 

City spokesman Pat Dowling previously said the extra lane will relieve congestion during major events such as the Christmas light show, when it will be reserved for residents trying to get into their neighborhood.

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