MYRTLE BEACH - Erosion has washed away sand from some Grand Strand beaches prompting officials to consider banning beach tents in those areas.

North Myrtle Beach City Council is considering prohibiting beach tents in three areas because there is not enough sand to accommodate the tens, The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports. Myrtle Beach is expected to consider the issue early next year.

Horry County has not discussed changing its rules, county spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier said.

The newspaper reports that some leaders feel that banning tents could be a solution.

Questions about beach tents were first raised several years ago when communities put limits to make sure safety vehicles and lifeguards could get around the tents.

"Something has to be done," said George Lack of Lack's Beach Service.

Tents now cannot be larger than 12 feet by 12 feet and cannot be too close to another tent.

If North Myrtle Beach votes to ban tents in the erosion areas, umbrellas will still be allowed because they don't take up as much room, city spokesman Pat Dowling said.

"The tents don't work there. They take up a lot of space, and there's just not a lot of space at high tide. It's just a matter of geography, really," Dowling said.

Some people at the beach like tents to protect themselves and their children from the sun during daylong outings.

Myrtle Beach is also looking at the problems.

"The tents take up a lot of real estate. More people could enjoy the beach with fewer tents," city spokesman Mark Kruea said.

Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes said he expects city officials to discuss the problem early next year.

"It is an issue and it is not going away any time soon," he said.