Parking committee recommends starting meters two hours later in Surfside Beach

akelley@thesunnews.comJanuary 13, 2014 

Required parking meter use in Surfside Beach will start two hours later during the next season if the town’s council accepts recommendations Tuesday from the its parking committee.

The parking committee suggests the town continue to use Lanier Parking Solutions, which was hired before the 2013 season, for management and enforcement of its parking meters, and said all existing parking meters should be left in place. Lanier was hired before the 2013 season.

The Town Council will discuss the committee’s recommendation during Tuesday meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m.

Some committee members previously supported removing from Ocean Boulevard some meters that were installed in the right-of-way for the first time last year.

Among the committee’s recommendations was a suggestion that the town’s parking meters along Ocean Boulevard and in beach access lots be enforced from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the season – March to October.

The goal is to help business, particularly near the pier.

Mayor Doug Samples said he isn’t sure if changing the hours will help, but said he’s willing to try.

“The hours, I think, are really designed to help breakfast at our diner,” he said, referring to the Surf Diner which operates in the town owned pier restaurant space. “For people who drive to the restaurant, it may help.”

He said the town doesn’t collect too much during the two hour morning block, but will lose some revenue if the start is pushed back.

The committee also recommends restricting parking on all side streets from Melody Lane to 16th Avenue North between Dogwood Drive and Ocean Boulevard be by permit only. Permit parking only would also be enforced on Yaupon Drive between Third Avenue North and Third Avenue South.

Permits are for town residents and non-resident property owners only.

Samples said he doesn’t intend to support that portion of the recommendations.

“I think we might have a negative affect on our family friendly approach with all the restrictions,” he said.

Donna Goodrich, who lives outside the town limits but near Surfside Beach, said last fall that the town should change its name from “The Family Beach” to “Meter City.”

She didn’t visit the town’s beach this year to avoid paying for the new meters.

Also Tuesday Town Council also will revisit allowing docks on town lakes.

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381, or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_akelley.

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