ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - The Isle of Palms Public Safety Committee had a discussion on changing the hours when parking is regulated along the public rights-of-way. Public rights-of-way include on street parking in residential areas and beyond.
The meeting took place on Monday morning, and it was the first time the proposal was discussed with any change requiring council approval.
The city is considering changing parking enforcement from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to at all times every day of the week.
Some residents are indifferent about the consideration.
“I think it’s kind of overkill because there’s never really a problem finding parking after dark," said Justin Garraux who grew up on the Isle of Palms. "So if I want to have a guest over and they needed to park on the side of the street it’s just an extra pass that I need to write for them, and it’s a whole extra ordeal and a little more stress than it needs to be.”
There is street parking in residential areas that is restricted to only residents with parking permits, guests with passes or others with special permits. Resident permits and guest passes are provided to residents for free.
If drivers don't have proof to park in those locations they can be ticked $50.
Earlier this year, the city changed parking enforcement from peak beach season, Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, to year-round.
The city administrator, Desirée Fragoso, advised that before any changes are made, they should wait until the end of the season to make a determination if enforcement changes are necessary.
The administrator says in the next couple of months they will have an overview of parking and will be able to see what needs to change.
The administrator says the city has received complaints from residents who say people staying in short-term rentals are parking in places that residents intend to use for themselves or their own guests.
People who own short-term rentals can apply for a special permit to provide on street parking for guests.
“It is not as easy as it would assume to make these decisions because we do want people to come visit,” said Isle of Palms Police Chief Kevin Cornett who was at the meeting. “We understand that people want to be here and we want you. We want people to come partake in our businesses, we want people to come live here on our island, but it’s a hard job to find that balance, and a lot of rules go into it.”
Cornett says they look at safety.
He also encourages people to share any ideas they have with the city about parking.
“For the most part it’s fine. During the summer when everyone is trying to go to the beach sometimes, it’s hard to find parking,” Garraux said. “I actually have some personal spots over here, but every now and then we have people come park in our actual driveway. It’s kind of on the street.”
Another resident says with the island being a tourist destination, it's important to protect the homeowners, but also making it welcoming for guests.
During the meeting, city leaders mentioned there are more than 300 parking signs across the island and many would have to be changed to reflect new rules if passed.
The administrator says the city has not yet budgeted for these parking changes.
For more information on beach parking click here.