Isle of Palms to tweak beach parking, trim fines

Isle of Palms leaders are working on fine tuning the city's beach parking plan including a proposed warning system for those who incorrectly place parking receipts upside down in their vehicle.
 
"We've taken some steps based on feedback from our staff and citizens input," said council member Martin Bettelli and chair of the Public Safety Committee.

Council has already approved first reading for ordinance amendments that would reduce the fee for violations at city municipal and Front Beach parking kiosks from fifty dollars to twenty-five.

"We're going to be downplay the amount of tickets," Bettelli said. "They'll be d ropping from a fifty dollar ticket to  twenty."

According to city data, 761 "upside down" violations were issued from May 15 to Sept. 19, 2016. One local started a social media stir and conversation over parking regulation after being cited for an unreadable ticket.

"It's really just a common mistake, people aren't thinking about which way the receipts turned," Carter, visiting Isle of Palms from Charlotte, said Thursday.

More amendments to the ordinance include a "warning system" that would allow first-time offenders to receive a warning ticket if they place their kiosk receipt in the wrong direction.

"When enforcement personnel see a kiosk receipt that cannot be read because it has been placed incorrectly, they will run the tag information on the vehicle and if there has not been a citation issued previously for this same offense on the vehicle, a warning ticket will be issued the for the first offense," said City Administrator Linda Tucker.

Tucker said the fine reduction in citation is for a kiosk violation only.

"Kiosks are deployed in the two City parking lots and on the street parking between 10th and 14th on Ocean Boulevard otherwise known as 'front beach," Tucker said.   
 
According to Tucker, the city collected $160,000 in island-wide parking violations in fiscal year 2016. City data shows that included more than two thousand people received citations for "residential permit required" violations. Officials issued more than 1,400 tickets for "no receipt displayed."
 
Bettelli said council will continue to tweak the beach parking plan as needed at the end of the season but hopes the public is more accustomed to the kiosk rules as tourist season nears.
 
"Anything you do, the first year is always the toughest," Bettelli said. "Just an extra check before you leave the car before you walk away can make a big difference."
 
Isle of Palms City Council will need to vote in approval of a second reading of the amendments before they take effect. City staff also remind Isle of Palms residents must annual renew their residential parking permit. Residential parking begins May 15.
 
For more information on proposed parking ordinance changes or residential permit, visit here.

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