City officials looking to improve private lots
If you’re planning a visit to North Myrtle Beach this summer or live in the area, there’s a few things you need to know.
With tourism increasing, parking in demand and years of complaints from residents and tourists over parking and safety along Ocean Boulevard, city leaders have implemented a series of new programs they believe will make parking more effective during the busy tourist season.
Along with a nearly half-million dollar project that modified 12 beach access parking lots between 6th Avenue North and 18th Avenue North to create over 200 parking spaces, the city will launch a paid parking program starting June 15 through Oct. 31.
Parking will carry a $2 per hour fee that can be paid at a kiosk or on the Passport Parking App. The app, which can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play store, will send email or text alerts when your meter is about to expire and allow extra time to be added to your stay.
The fee will apply to those without a city decal in public parking lots on either side of Ocean Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Lots will also have an attendant from Lanier Parking who will enforce parking rules and provide assistance to those in need. Two golf carts parked in one space will both have to pay the parking fee, if they don’t have a parking decal from the city, according to a North Myrtle Beach news release.
Next year, the paid parking program will run from March 1 to Oct. 31, the release states.
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. Homeowners are also required to obtain an encroachment permit prior to installing anything in a right-of-way, the city 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.
Additionally, parking will be prohibited on the Ocean Boulevard median. Violating parking regulations will result in a ticket.
Plans to construct a handicap ramp on 8th Avenue North will be halted until further notice. Two temporary handicap ramps will be installed at 10th Avenue North and 12th Avenue North, with the former constructed first and the latter built after. According to the city, work on the 10th Avenue ramp will begin this week with construction lasting about a week.
The city will also enforce a residential permit system allowing residents to park for free in all paid-parking lots but limit the number of vehicles and golf carts used at a time to one per household. Any North Myrtle Beach property owner whose golf cart or vehicle is registered to their city address can obtain a permit from the Business License Division at City Hall.
Two free parking decals will be provided per household, according to the city.
Vehicle owners are advised to bring their registration and South Carolina driver’s license to apply for their free parking decal, while property owners whose golf carts are registered with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles must provide a printed photo of their permit and state driver’s license.
A full-time resident who has registered their vehicle to their company or who drives a company car, which fit into a traditional parking spot, must show their most recent property tax bill and driver’s license to apply for a free decal. An application fee of $50 per vehicle will apply.
Free parking decals will not be permitted to those living outside city limits or vacation homeowners unless their vehicle or golf cart is registered through SCDMV to their North Myrtle Beach address.
Officials said the city intends to buy land to create additional public parking spaces to potentially include second homeowners in the decal program.
However, with over 1,300 public parking spaces on either side of Ocean Boulevard included in the pay-to-park program and over 8,000 free parking decals issued so far, city officials will continue to review their parking program and consider any long-term parking solutions.