ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - Commercial surfing instruction on the Isle of Palms beach is one step closer to becoming a reality.
On Tuesday night, council passed the first reading of the ordinance unanimously. Amendments will be discussed further at a meeting in January.
“This is an opportunity for us to provide a service to our residents who have long asked for," said Councilmember John Moye. "There is a huge outcry of families and children that are longing to learn how to surf that are spending hours in the car each summer going to Folly Beach when they got the beach right here at their fingertips.”
Councilmembers did voice some concerns including CPR certifications that they said need be built into the ordinance.
Earlier today, IOP Assistant City Administrator Ronald Hanna says that while the community has been asking to change this law for years, the proposal the council would be discussing would be less intrusive than any of the other proposals brought forward over the last few years.
The new proposal would amend the past ordinance restricting all commercial activities on the beach, and Hanna says it would allow for independently owned businesses to offer surf lessons under certain restrictions.
Each business would be allowed to operate on the beach for two hours, per business license, per day, the proposal states. The groups would be limited to a maximum of four students, and there would still be no signs or solicitation allowed on the beach.
Hanna says the city has explored several options in the past, but the main concern that still surfaces dwells on the commercialization of the beach.