Get off my lawn! North Myrtle Beach says stop blocking public parking

North Myrtle Beach.
North Myrtle Beach. The Sun News file photo

Just before residents and tourists begin flocking to the beach, North Myrtle Beach is warning homeowners that placing barriers in public rights-of-way without a permit is illegal.

The city has noticed some property owners on residential side streets have placed shrubs, fences and other obstructions in public rights-of-way in an effort to prevent people from parking in that area, according to a city news release.

Homeowners are required to obtain an encroachment permit prior to installing anything in a right-of-way, the city said.

City Spokesperson Pat Dowling said the side streets between 18th Avenue North and 4th Avenue North have grown in popularity over the years for those seeking easy parking and access to the beach. The area between utility poles and the pavement is public right of way on side streets, he said.

Residents on city streets can submit an application for an encroachment permit to the Public Works Department at City Hall or download an encroachment permit request on the city’s website. If the encroachment request involves a state road, a request would need to be submitted to the S.C. Department of Transportation.

Motorists parking in any public rights-of-way are advised to keep all four tires off the pavement, keep off the sidewalk and avoid blocking any driveway, and observe required distances from intersections, fire hydrants and stop signs.

“It is true that some who park in the public rights-of-way on side streets abuse the privilege by littering, making a lot of noise, parking too close to driveways, etc.,” Dowling said. “My suggestion to those who park along the side streets is to do so courteously and without littering. The privilege they now enjoy can always be changed.”

Paid parking will be available June 15 through September in public parking lots located on either side of Ocean Boulevard. The city is currently spending over $300,000 on a construction project that will extend and modify 12 beach access parking lots between 6th Avenue North and 18th Avenue North, creating over 200 parking spaces and restricting anyone from parking in the Ocean Boulevard median.

Contractors work to expand beach parking in North Myrtle Beach on twelve parking lots from 6th Avenue North to 18th Avenue North at Ocean Boulevard. Apr 08, 2019. Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com

Parking will carry a $2 per hour fee that can be paid on a mobile app or cashless pay kiosk. Any North Myrtle Beach property owner whose vehicles or golf carts are registered to their city address can obtain a parking permit from the Business License Division at City Hall.

Anyone with questions about applying for encroachment permits can call Public Works at 843-280-5500.

City officials have received several complaints from tourists over private parking lots in downtown Myrtle Beach, and now council is working to combat misleading and changing rates by displaying a sign.

Anna Young is the Coastal Cities reporter for The Sun News covering anything and everything that happens locally. Young, an award-winning journalist who got her start reporting local news in New York, is dedicated to upholding the values of journalism by listening, learning, seeking out the truth and reporting it accurately. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from SUNY Purchase College.