Today's editorial remarks upon North Myrtle Beach's relentless boundary expansions:
"Developers at the unincorporated periphery of North Myrtle Beach rarely resist annexation. Attracted by the city's superior public services and stable property-tax rate, they practically beg the city to redraw its boundaries to include their acreage. Not for nothing did a city councilman joke a few years back that the city could annex its way along S.C. 9 to the city limits of Loris if it wanted to.
"As things are turning out, his joke would have worked better if he'd used Myrtle Beach as his example.
"If North Myrtle Beach City Council goes along with a planning commission recommendation to annex a 1,363-acre parcel slated for residential and commercial development, the two cities soon will share a common boundary.
"The acreage up for annexation lies west of the waterway at the southeast intersection of Carolina Bays Parkway and the Conway Bypass -- and borders the Grande Dunes neighborhood to the south. Grande Dunes is in the city of Myrtle Beach.
"The project in question could dwarf the west-of-the-waterway portion of Grande Dunes. We're talking about more than 10,000 residential units -- condo and single-family -- and 4.3 million square feet of commercial space.
"It is not yet a lock that this project -- which would take many years to build out -- will become part of North Myrtle Beach. City Council won't admit just any old developer that seeks annexation. Members typically want proof that the potential property-tax revenue from projects slated for annexation is greater than the cost of hiring police officers, firefighters and other employees to provide services to new residents. But the planning commission recommendation does suggest that the annexation bid of the developer, Parkway Group PUD, will find council favor - with or without further tweaking.
"Regardless of what happens with this annexation petition, North Myrtle Beach remains steadily on track to become the dominant municipality along the Grand Strand. The city's public and private leadership deserves great credit for making the NMB brand so powerful."