IOP city council discussing further changes to parking, considering additional paid parking

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ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Isle of palms leaders are considering permanently changing parking policies. This comes after city council voted to significantly reduce the amount of beach access parking less than two weeks ago.

Public parking on the IOP has been significantly limited but more changes could be on the way. Among changes being discussed, paid parking in all areas listed as beach parking zones.

“There will be discussions regarding potential changes to the managed beach plan including implementing paid parking on the existing designated beach parking zones between 9am and 6pm,” says Robert Hanna, Assistant City Administrator for the Isle of Palms.

While no decisions were made during the meeting, there was a general consensus that moving towards some sort of paid parking model is on the horizon. Leaders have been in talks with a company to develop an app that people could use to pay for parking, and they are also discussing the option of year long parking pass at a discounted rate for frequent visitors.

They hope to have more concrete plans to present at the next meeting, and to make the transition by next Summer.

This meeting comes just two weeks after city council voted to limit the amount of parking available for those hoping to hit the beach.

Martin Krebs says he’s surprised such measures haven’t been adopted already.

“A lot of people come here you know and so it’s an amenity and you’re going to pay for it one way or another,” says Martin Krebs, visiting from out of town.

Nothing has been finalized but Krebs and Cameron Wharton, who are both visiting from out of town, say other options should be considered by city council.

“Something that might involve multi-model transit, you know parking lots, you know you could do some bike sharing, you might run some transit,” says Krebs.

“I guess if they want to pay for it what I think is it should go to the people that live right in front of the grass,” says Wharton.

City Council leaders agreed, and suggested working with surrounding municipalities to implement some sort of public transit system to Lowcountry beaches.

If and when other options are considered, Krebs believes discussions should be more inclusive.

“It’s important that everybody has a seat at the table, you know the residents of the community, businesses and of course the folks that are interested in bringing the business in,” says Krebs.

A more inclusive conversation to find a solution supported by as many as possible.

“The question is where is it reasonable to balance that demand,” says Krebs.

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