Horry County’s top prosecutor is asking a judge to block access into an historically problematic home in downtown Myrtle Beach with a reputation for drug dealing and violent crime that’s previously been shut down due to illegal activity.
Solicitor Jimmy Richardson on Sept. 14 filed a petition requesting the so-called “Yellow House” at 407 5th Ave N. be shuttered for up to a year under the state’s public nuisance law.
If a judge approves Richardson’s motion, it would force the property’s closure for the fourth time.
Owner Joe Rideoutte Jr., who acquired the house in October 2010, could not be reached for comment.
The most recent order closing the home expired on April 7, 2022. Since re-opening, the property has seen police respond for assaults and drug dealing, Richardson said in his motion.
On Aug. 25, city police responded for calls of shots fired and a tenant being stabbed.
That same day, code enforcement officials deemed the home unfit for habitation and ordered it closed.
However, Richardson said in court documents, “people have been living in the backyard in makeshift shelters and camps,” while calls for service have continued on trespassing and disorderly conduct incidents.
In 2018 alone, city police responded to the home 213 times. Between June and July 2020, four drug overdoses happened at the Yellow House, killing two people, previously filed court documents say.
State law says a person can be found guilty of a public nuisance should their property “be used for the purposes of lewdness, assignation, prostitution, repeated acts of unlawful possession or sale or controlled substances, or continuous breach of the peace.”
Despite its unofficial moniker, the “Yellow House” was repainted teal years ago. It sits near the 5th Avenue North intersection and North Kings Highway.
A property maintenance hearing to discuss conditions on the site is slated for 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 20. No court date has yet been set regarding Richardson’s motion.