Sullivan’s Island businesses are saying “No” to paid parking

Updated: Sep. 11, 2020 at 11:16 PM EDT
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SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The town of Sullivan’s Island is considering a proposal for paid parking in an effort to gain revenue to improve the island. Many business owners and residents say the plan would negatively impact local businesses.

Jamie Maher is the manager of Dunleavy’s Pub, which is one of the businesses against the proposal.

He said businesses are trying to get back on their feet after beach restrictions were recently lifted, but they will lose business if customers must deal with paid parking.

“Once we found out [town council members] were introducing this, Mr. Dunleavy got together and started getting the word out to everybody,” Maher said. “Other restaurants got on board once they realized that this was coming to light again.”

The businesses have been spearheading an effort to get their voices heard by posting photos with a ‘No paid parking’ banner, and they are encouraging people to reaching out to town council members.

Sullivan’s Island Mayor Patrick O’Neil said there are a lot of variables to consider when talking about paid parking.

He said the reason they are considering this is to find a way to pay for all the expenses that comes with having a beach.

“This is not a way to try to keep people from coming. We want to support our businesses, we want them to continue to be popular with the people in the Charleston area,” O’Neil said. “But if we need to have decent streets for people to park on for those businesses, we need to be able to provide them with fire and rescue and police coverage while they are here. We need to get the money from somewhere.”

Town council will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 15 to discuss the proposal.

The mayor said they will think carefully about the plan and no decision will be made at that meeting.

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