Surfside Beach council passes 1st reading of ordinance to address hole-digging on beach

Grand Strand

SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Surfside Beach council voted Tuesday to pass the first reading of an ordinance to address hole-digging on the beach.

The ordinance would prohibit metal shovels, except when being used for metal detecting. The ordinance also would prohibit holes from being dug deeper than two feet, and must be filled before the person who dug it leaves the beach.

Police Chief Kenneth Hofmann said the metal shovel restriction was added because he said most of the large holes at the beach are dug by adults who bring large shovels and spend the day digging, rather than children making small holes. He said he checked with the City of Myrtle Beach about their digging rules.

Hofmann said a citation would be a last resort as far as punishment goes.

Four council members voted in favor of the ordinance and two voted against. One councilmember said, if passed, the ordinance would be government overreach in his opinion. He said more people get hurt riding golf carts and biking than falling into holes on the beach.

He was concerned that it would add another rule to the beach to enforce that already has a lot of rules.

Hofmann said he would modify the language of the ordinance for the second and final reading that would specify only larger metal shovels would be banned and could add specific dimensions.

The proposed ordinance was previously brought up in 2019 but was tabled.

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