Myrtle Beach business owners upset by new rules that would limit moped and golf cart rentals

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) - People who own moped and golf cart rental businesses in Myrtle Beach aren't happy with the vote from city council Tuesday that would limit the number of mopeds and golf carts on the streets.

Jack Zakhra has owned Happy Scooters in Myrtle Beach for almost twelve years.

Last year, he says the city made him put decals on his moped to keep track of his inventory, and he knew changes were coming then.

"We knew something was going to happen to the business. We didn't know if it was going to be good or bad, said Zakhra.

Tuesday, Myrtle Beach Police Chief Warren Gall told council there were too many mopeds and golf carts on the streets, and they were dangerous to everyone.

"They're riding in the wrong travel lane, they're cutting people off, making U-Turns in front of cars. They're generally unsafe, their actions are unsafe, and when people see the way they drive and see the way they act, it adds to the chaos. It adds to the feeling that nobody cares," said Gall.

Council past the first reading of an ordinance that would basically put a freeze on the number of mopeds and golf carts on the roads by not allowing new businesses to open or existing businesses to expand.

Council member Wayne Gray says it was a public safety decision.

"We're not going to allow any expansion of that or any new facilities the permit to rent golf carts or mopeds and evaluate what long term do we allow for these activities so that our visitors can enjoy them, but yet it's not interfering with our ability to provide good law enforcement," said Gray.

Zakhra says he sees council's concern from a safety standpoint, but a better plan would be to limit all of the businesses to a certain number of golf carts or mopeds because his small shop doesn't compare to some of the bigger companies in Myrtle Beach.

"Fair law is to limit all the businesses all the same, the same number, same level, it doesn't matter if I want to grow to that number or not. It's how I feel about how I run my business. That would be more fair," said Zakhra.

Two other business owners stood up in Tuesday's council meeting and told council they were against the new rules. They said they're already regulated so much by the city and adding any additional regulations would be unfair and bad for business.

The ordinance, if passed, will only impact rental companies. It's not for independently owned mopeds or golf carts.

It needs to pass two more readings to become law.

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