February 23, 2014

Surfside Beach considering raising parking meter fees

Parking regulations are up for discussion in Surfside Beach again Tuesday.

Parking regulations are up for discussion in Surfside Beach again Tuesday.

Town Council held a workshop last week to learn more about several proposals from the parking committee, and officials plan to take a vote on the measures during Tuesday’s meeting that starts at 6:30 p.m.

Leaders will look at a suggestion to restrict parking on some side streets in town to permit-only, and to increase the fees.

Town Council already approved starting enforcement of parking meters two hours later, at 9 a.m., but will take a final vote on the measure Tuesday night.

Meter fees cost $1 per hour in Surfside Beach. Town Council will decide whether to keep that price or to increase it by 25 cents or 50 cents. Motions for increased fees also include an all-day pass, not currently offered. The day pass would cost $8.

An increase in fees could be limited to beach access parking lots.

Town staff suggested meters should not cost more than $1.25 an hour in order to remain competitive with neighboring areas. Meters in Garden City cost $1.25 per hour. Myrtle Beach charges $1.50 per hour in its busiest zone.

Parking on Dogwood Drive and Yaupon Drive could be limited to cars with town permits. One option would restrict parking between Third Avenue North and Third Avenue South. The other option would enforce permit-only parking the entire length of Dogwood Drive, but still would allow parking for all vehicles at Martin Park, the Floral Lake deck and the Dogwood Lake Deck.

To limit the parking the town would purchase and install 102 to 163 signs.

Staff recommends Town Council, should it choose to restrict the parking on Dogwood Drive, only do so between Third Avenue North and Third Avenue South because homes in the residential district along Dogwood Drive have limited parking on their property, according to Town Administrator Micki Fellner.

Mayor Doug Samples said he’s not a fan of having so many meters.

“I just don’t support the meters,” he said. “But, if parking is our biggest issue then we really don’t have any problems.”

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