BZA to hear appeal of reality show permit
Six people are expected to decide Sept. 5 whether Georgetown County officials overstepped their bounds in granting approval for a commercial company to film in a residential area of Murrells Inlet.
Warren Stedman, who lives within earshot and eyeshot of Kings Krest, where 495 Productions is filming a reality show, contends that the temporary use variances granted by Boyd Johnson, the director of Planning and Code Enforcement, to the California production company violates county ordinances and the director’s authority.
Stedman said that even though the production company may be gone from the Inlet by the time John J. Weaver III, David Greene Sr., James Holmes, Eugene Gilfillin, Thomas Onions and Amy Brandon hear his case, he wants to see it through.
“I don’t want this ever to happen again. I don’t want this to happen to someone else,” Stedman said Tuesday. “I can’t tell you how this has disturbed me and my family.”
Stedman also contends that trailers and storage units on the Kings Krest property are illegal.
“Trailers are specifically excluded in residential area by ordinance,” he wrote in his complaint to the Zoning Board of Appeals, which hears and decides appeals “where it is alleged there is error in an order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement of the zoning ordinance.”
While Stedman requests that non-conforming permits be rescinded, he said he realizes it may be too late for that to happen.
The cast moved into Kings Krest around Aug. 1 and is expected to vacate the property by Friday. CMT has a contract with 495 Productions for eight episodes of what has been called at various times “The Dirty South,” “Party Down South” and “Down South,” titles that 495 Productions contends are simply working titles.
The show follows a cast of eight 20-something Southerners as they spend a summer at the beach. Filming has occurred at a number of Inlet area and Grand Strand locations, including Uncle Tito’s, the Wicked Tuna, Crooked Floor Tavern and Lee’s Farmer’s Market.
A Facebook page was established and listed locations and companies that said no when the crew asked permission to film inside businesses.
Stedman said he had been told about the page, but has not seen it, nor has he contributed to it.
The hearing is public, and Stedman said he welcomes support from community members.
There will be a public comment period at the beginning of the hearing.
The film company is not required to have a representative at the hearing. The session gets underway at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 5 in County Council chambers at 129 Screven Street.
By Anita Crone
For Inlet Outlook
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