Facebook group’s injunction denied by judge in case against Isle of Palms parking restrictions

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ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – A judge has denied the injunction filed by the Charleston Area Public Beach Access and Parking Group to reverse parking restrictions.

Judge Ryan Griffin stated in his ruling that Isle of Palms city leaders are within their rights to regulate parking due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Isle of Palms released the following statement regarding the decision:

“The City of Isle of Palm’s primary objective is to protect the health and safety of all who live and choose to visit the beach during these unprecedented times.  We are pleased with the decision today and continue to work toward this objective.  With that said, Council is scheduled to meet on Thursday, August 13th to review the City’s emergency ordinance.”

Isle of Palms statement on the parking restrictions decision

“These restrictions may make beach access inconvenient but I don’t believe they rise to the level of irreparable harm,” says Judge Griffin.

Despite a failed request, Michael Barnett say the fight over parking is far from being over.

“It’s certainly not a victory for the Isle of Palms by any means,” says Barnett. “What they are doing is still highly inappropriate.”

The injunction filed in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas argues parking restrictions weren’t a planned topic of discussion at the July 15th city council meeting.

“Precluded from having access to a free ability to exercise and be out in the sun,” says the Facebook group’s legal representation Thomas Goldstein.

Legal counsel for the Isle of Palms pointed to Governor McMaster’s order that allows beach communities to restrict access as seen fit to protect community health during COVID-19.

“Has the right to regulate streets and roads within it’s city limits and that is under all circumstances, not just emergency circumstances like we’re facing right now,” says IOP Attorney Andrew Lindemann.

Barnett, the creator of a petition asking Charleston County to de-fund it’s beach communities, says he has been in contact with County Council Chairman Elliott Summey to ask for help.

“That’s a legal process so the county is looking at legal, their avenues legally and that takes time you know it doesn’t happen over night,” says Barnett.

Beaches open for all or closed to all, Barnett says allowing residents and renters but now neighbors isn’t right.

“There are a lot of very responsible people who live in Charleston County and in the Tri-County area who work very hard and deserve to use these beaches,” says Barnett.

Isle of Palms City Council will hold it’s next meeting on August 13th.

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