Proposed changes to Sullivan's Island parking rules

VIDEO: Proposed changes to Sullivan's Island parking rules

SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Sullivan Island Town Council members will discuss a change to the town's rules when it comes to parking on the island.

At Tuesday's regularly scheduled meeting the council looks to amend chapters 11-4 and 11-7 of the ordinances to, "require all wheels off of the pavement when parking on Sullivan's Island, except where otherwise posted."

This will be the first reading of the proposed amendment to the ordinance.

"I though it was weird, because I tried to park over there, and my tire was a little bit on the pavement and I said well I can't park here," said Brooke McGraw, of Spartanburg.

There are signs already in some areas of the island that say no parking on the pavement.

Andy Benke, the Town Administrator, said Tuesday the Town wants to make that rule island wide to allow safer travel for drivers and emergency vehicles.

"That's a priority for sure," said Amy Arrington, whose child goes to school on the island. "If any changes are made, we want to make sure our safety vehicles can get to people."

The ordinance would give the town the means to execute an in-depth parking plan that was submitted to the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

The submitted plan would consider limiting parking to one side of the street.

Benke said there's a beach emergency almost everyday and the priority for changing the parking rules is a public safety matter.

However, some beach goers said it could take parking away from them.

"That's crazy," said John Dubose. "There's not even enough places to park over there. I don't even bother going over there anymore."

"It's fine for me," Arrington rebutted. "I know if you come on the weekends and are hoping to go to the beach, you can definitely be challenged with driving around looking for somewhere to park."

According to Benke, there are about 4,500 parking spaces available. The number would drop to about 2,800 if the submitted plan were approved by SCDOT. Benke added the reduced number of parking spaces will meet the current demands of visitors.

"I'll get here as early as I can [for a spot]," McGraw said.

"We need an orderly parking system on the island," Benke said.

If SCDOT approves the plan, the town council is expected to implement the new parking plan in June.

Benke said all new signs would be placed on the island to make it a uniformed look.

He added the plan would be in a trial period for the first year and then they would look to make adjustments if needed in the future.

The City of Folly Beach requires motorists to keep all wheels off of the pavement when parking on the side of a roadway.

A change to the city's ordinance was passed in 2012.

The Isle of Palms started new beach parking rules Sunday for the season.

From May 15 to September 15 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. beach visitors will not be able to park in some residential areas that were once used for parking.

A couple hundred new signs, costing around $58,000, have been installed in residential neighborhoods under the city's new plan.

Copyright 2016 WCSC. All rights reserved.