Several parking changes could be in store for Surfside Beach.
The town council Tuesday passed first reading of an ordinance that would implement new fees and increase existing levies. The ordinance said the town has prime beach access parking areas where beach goers park “haphazardly” to avoid using the town’s pay-for-parking lots.
At the council’s request, Town Administrator Dennis Pieper identified multiple town rights-of-way and other areas that could be used for parking, including all beachfront access locations and side streets.
Multiple residents spoke out against the ordinance.
Harry Kohlmann, former chairman of the town's parking committee, questioned several parts of the ordinance and why the council would vote on it without holding a workshop or public hearing first. Kohlmann resigned from the post in 2017; the council dissolved the committee last year.
The proposed new fees and increases include:
- Limiting nonresidential property owner decals to two decals per property; $5 for each decal for nonresident property owners to cover administrative cost
- Increasing the hourly rate for value parking lot on 13th Avenue South from 50 cents to $1
- Hiking the cost of non-resident parking passes from $200 to $250
- Increasing Commercial District 30-day parking decals for business employees from $20 to $30 ($1 per day)
- Adding a 24-hour parking rate of $15 for 24 hours
- Allowing overnight parking for 24-hour and weekly decal holders only in the Yaupon Drive lot
- Upping the weekly parking rate from $40 to $70 ($10 per day)
- Limiting resident decals to three
- Imposing a new $500 annual fee proposed for commercial passenger busses parked in town rights-of-way
- Repealing the merchant and patron validation program
- Authorizing the town administrator to implement parking areas in the town’s rights-of-way and other appropriate locations that could generate revenue.
Additionally, golf carts would no longer be able to park at beach accesses for free. A decision paper said the cost of nonresidential property owner decals would be upped from $40 to $50.
The town recently spent more than half a million dollars on land for a parking lot at 212 Surfside Drive. Under the ordinance, those with a parking decal would have to pay to park at that lot, the pier or the 4th Avenue North lot.
Recommended are the rate increases being effective January 1, 2020, and all other amendments being effective upon the ordinance passing second reading.
Councilman Mark Johnson, who called the ordinance a “fiasco,” and councilman David Pellegrino both cast "no" votes. Councilwoman Debbie Scoles said the ordinance is not a “fiasco,” but a “start.”
Council members agreed to hold a workshop in the coming weeks, though no date has yet been announced.
A public hearing will be held during the Oct. 22 town council meeting. The hearing will take place at the town council chambers located at 115 U.S. 17 Business, Surfside Beach.
The ordinance must pass a second reading to go into effect.