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Circuit Court judge blocks Horry County's request for a preliminary injunction to block the sale of city owned campground properties

The City of Myrtle Beach is pleased with this week’s order by Circuit Court Judge Benjamin H. Culbertson, denying Horry County’s request for a preliminary injunction to block the sale of the city-owned “campground” properties.  The order also dissolves a temporary restraining order issued while the court reviewed the case.  The full text of the order is available at 

The city welcomes this very clear directive from the court and appreciates the opportunity to review, once more, the factual background regarding the Seascape Properties.  The City of Myrtle Beach owns 145 acres east of US 17 Business (Kings Highway) which have been leased to the campgrounds (PirateLand and Lakewood) for decades as part of their larger operations.  The city acquired the land in 1948, when the federal government declared it surplus.  Through the years, quiet title was vested in the city.  This week’s court order upholds the city’s ownership of the land.  

In part, the court decision reads, “The County lacks any legal title interest in the Seascape Properties and has, in fact, entered into an agreement to resolve all prior disputes between it and the City involving these properties.  That agreement… does not create any beneficial or equitable interest in the properties that would entitle the County to prevent the sale of, or receive any proceeds from the sale of, these properties.”  

The order clearly upholds the city’s position, stating, “The 2004 Agreement is a fully integrated agreement between the City and the County that ‘supersedes any and all agreements and representations made earlier.’  As such, its terms cannot be varied by evidence of any prior agreements.  The 2004 Agreement gives the County no interest in proceeds from the sale of the Seascape Properties….  The County cannot change its mind 16 years later.”  

Further, the court “concludes as a matter of law that the City’s conduct was neither arbitrary, capricious, nor oppressive,” and that the 2004 agreement does not require either party to use the lease proceeds for airport purposes.  The court states that the county’s claim of irreparable harm if the city is allowed to sell the properties also “is demonstrably wrong.”  

Since the 2004 agreement, the City of Myrtle Beach has given Horry County a total of $32.7 million from proceeds of the campground leases.  As noted in the order, that agreement does not require any sharing of revenues should the city choose to sell the property in question.  

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