IOP residents react to proposed paid parking, share differing opinions

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ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Beach access paid parking could be another step closer to reality on the Isle of Palms. Beach goers along Palm Boulevard, 3rd through 9th Avenues and at the Breach Inlet would be forced to pay for parking as early as next year.

With paid parking on the horizon some Isle of palms residents say they have mixed feelings on the plan.

“I am an advocate of paid parking,” says Isle of Palms resident Garrett Krause.

“I’m not a fan of that,” says Isle of Palms resident Rusty Williamson. “I think that the island could look to do something else rather than taking what’s been historically free parking.”

For many, island-wide paid parking comes as no surprise but Krause says it shouldn’t translate to parking spots being eliminated.

“I’m used to, I heard it coming,” says Krause. “I wasn’t in favor of the parking ban, I wasn’t in favor of shutting down palm.”

City officials say they want paid parking so they can afford maintenance and upkeep costs and while Krause says he agrees with the proposal, he believes there needs to be some compromise when it comes to the plan.

Give a Monday or a Wednesday or a Tuesday so that those who don’t have the money to pay for parking, give free parking maybe,” says Krause. “One Saturday a month is free parking day.”

Other Isle of Palms residents, like Rusty Williamson, say the plan is unfair and could prevent some from being able to soak up some sun.

“We’ve got people who are older who don’t have the technology to do the app that they are talking about doing to get the parking,” says Williamson. “You’ve got people with limited funds availability.”

Some residents including Williamson are taking manners into their own hands with beach parking limited, they’re offering up residential parking passes to help those looking to get away for a day.

“I’ve been handing them out like a new father handing out cigars you know trying to help people who can’t find a place to park because it’s so congested now,” says Williamson.

Tuesday night’s city council vote passed 8 votes to 1. City council is currently working to finalize the ordinance for final approval. Paid parking changes would be implemented starting next year.

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