ATLANTIC BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A lawsuit filed last week in Horry County Common Pleas Court aims to prevent developers from building a new high-rise hotel in Atlantic Beach.

The lawsuit came after reviewing the city’s deed restrictions and is now causing a divide within the town’s residents.

The potential high-rise hotel would be between 30th and 31st Avenue South. The location is in front of houses that have been in Atlantic Beach for more than 50 years.

“There are deed restrictions that date way back on properties stating there should not be any high-rises on our oceanfront,” said Poterressia Dolphin, a homeowner in Atlantic Beach.

The lawsuit filed by the nonprofit group STARD — short for Supporters for Tysons Ancestral Restrictions on the Deeds — and several individuals from the Carolinas and Georgia names the town of Atlantic Beach and developer Morant Properties LLC among others.

The group includes some nearby property owners who want to restrict the use of lots.

“The high-rise would be a bad thing for Atlantic Beach,” Dolphin said. “Now, we’re not opposed to development, but along Main Street where we can have beautiful restaurants and that sort of thing. But we can’t tolerate, our environment here won’t tolerate a 21-foot story hotel.”

According to the developer’s plans, the high-rise hotel would be 21 stories, including more than 160 rooms made up of both rental units and condos.

Additionally, bars, restaurants and a museum are also being discussed.

Atlantic Beach homeowner, Jalil Woods, said they need this as well as highlighting the town’s history.

“Personally, if my friends came to visit me, they wouldn’t be able to stay there,” she said. “They would have to go into North Myrtle Beach or Myrtle Beach. Why don’t you want to bring income into the town to lower our property taxes, to bring more businesses?”

Woods said their property taxes are one of the highest in the county, and the new high-rise could also bring in new jobs.

“I don’t see any negatives with the high-rise because the infrastructure is there,” she said. “The studies have been done for the traffic control. There is nothing in the way but people who are opposed to it that don’t know the history of the town.”

The people opposed to it are saying it would bring too much traffic and gas fumes, noise and foot traffic.

The developer, Morant Properties, said they are planning on meeting with the town’s attorney. They added they have also submitted a formal application for development to the town and have paid all the required fees.

Morant’s proposal also includes a 12-story parking garage, which would be located diagonal from the high-rise. He said they have no comment at this time because of the pending lawsuit, but he added that he and his legal team are moving forward to get approval.

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Jackie LiBrizzi is a multimedia journalist at News13. Jackie is originally from Hamilton, New Jersey, and was raised in Piedmont, South Carolina. Jackie joined the News13 team in June 2023 after she graduated as a student-athlete from the University of South Carolina in May 2023. Follow Jackie on X, formerly Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and read more of her work here.