Isle of Palms City Council discusses SCDOT, beach parking, connector improvements

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ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Isle of Palms leaders are talking beach parking and more during a city council meeting Tuesday night. It’s a meeting that is expected to cover several highly debated topics on the island over the last year.

The topic catching the most attention for those both on and off the island remains beach parking, which has led to several debates since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just weeks ago, the state’s top road official announced plans to revamp Isle of Palms beach parking to provide more access. SCDOT Transportation Secretary Christy Hall said the prior parking plan gave too much power to island leaders making parking regulations.

SCDOT and the Isle of Palms have been working to meet a middle ground when it comes to parking restrictions and safety. Residents have shared mixed feelings on SCDOT’s involvement and the on-going parking battle. Some agree parking should be opened up while others fear no restrictions could bring more problems that solutions.

“I think they need to go back and revisit the parking prior to the 2015 plans they set down and come up with a realistic approach and keep it manageable without alienating the neighboring communities,” says longtime Isle of Palms resident Rusty Williamson.

“I think I would be strongly in favor of some kind of restriction on parking only because it’s such a tiny little place,” says Charles Perry, also a resident of the island.

Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll did not return News 2’s request for comment for the story. News 2 spoke with people close to the situation who believe additional parking restrictions could be discussed at Tuesday night’s meeting. The SCDOT says they remain focused on finding a solution that works for everyone.

Leaders are also expected to discuss IOP Connector improvements being done by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT). City Council also plans to talk about the city’s COVID-19 response, the future of the Isle of Palms Marina, Tidal Wave Watersports and more.

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