County Council amends public notification requirement in filming ordinance
Companies wanting to film in most parts of Georgetown County will no longer have to give written notice to nearby businesses and residents after a change to an ordinance that was approved by Georgetown County Council on Tuesday night.
In the ordinance's original form, companies were required to apply for a filming permit at least 45 days before filming began and give written notice at least 30 days before filming.
In the final version, the deadline for permit applications was reduced to five days prior to filming, which would not give companies time for written notification, said County Councilman Jerry Oakley.
The county would have the option of providing notification if it was needed, using the money from the permit fee, Oakley added.
The notification requirement will remain in the area between the Georgetown bridges and the Horry County line. Companies would have 24 hours to hand deliver notifications to businesses and residents within 500 feet and would then have to provide the county with a copy of the notice and a list of addresses it was delivered to.
Other changes to the original ordinance include the reduction of the permit fee
from $1,000 to $200, and the removal of a provision that would have prohibited the issuance of two filming permits within 1,000 feet of each other.
The idea for the ordinance came about after a television production company began filming a reality series in Murrells Inlet, which is in Oakley's district.
Residents were outraged that the county had given permits for the filming in a residential area and urged Council to adopt a set of standards for future projects.
After weeks of review by county staff, attorneys and residents, and five major revisions, the ordinance went before Council.
The major points of the ordinance include: filming companies will require $3 million in liability insurance; filming, and its related activities, will be restricted to the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Murrells Inlet and Waccamaw Neck; lighting used for filming will have to be shielded from residences and from the ocean after dark; and use of anything that involves “flames or incendiary devices” will require a permit from a county fire company and will be prohibited in residential areas.
Much of the enforcement of the ordinance, especially with the issuance or revoking of permits, lies with the county administrator, who also has the right to “change, modify, update or waive” the pro- visions of the ordinance.
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