Surfside Beach raises parking fees

03/25/2014 7:00 AM

03/26/2014 1:20 PM

It’s going to cost a little more to park in a metered space in Surfside Beach, but parking on side streets near the ocean will not be restricted.

Town Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to raise meter fees from $1 per hour to $1.25 per hour. The town also is offering day passes for $8 and week passes for $40. The daily and weekly passes are available at pay stations which are in five lots in town, including at Surfside Beach Pier and Yaupon Drive.

Parking meters are enforced from March to the end of October.

Meters in Horry County cost $1.25 and there is a 12-hour day pass for $6. In Myrtle Beach, meters cost $1 to $1.50 depending on location and demand.

Surfside Beach resident Ann Westcott was one of two people to speak during a public hearing on the increase before Town Council’s vote Tuesday and said she does not support the hike.

She said the meters have made visitors feel unwelcome and said the tourists “resent being nickle and dimed to death.”

Mary Jo Doggett lives on Dogwood Drive, one of the side streets where Town Council discussed restricting parking to vehicles with town permits, and said she didn’t think there was a parking issue.

Doggett said the only time cars were parked on her side of the street near her home last summer was on the Fourth of July.

Town Council had given initial approval to limit parking on side streets nearest Ocean Boulevard, but removed the restriction before the final vote Tuesday.

“I’d like to say that we’ve listened to the public,” said Councilman Rod Smith. “That’s why we’ve made this amendment.”

Town Council may make changes to metering on days when there are town-sponsored events or festivals.

Councilwoman Mary Beth Mabry said people aren’t encouraged to return to town events if they find a ticket on their car. Town Administrator Micki Fellner was directed by Town Council to meet with Lanier Parking Solutions about free parking or suspended enforcement during festivals.

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