FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – Folly Beach City Council on Tuesday discussed changing a parking ordinance on one of the area’s busiest streets.
Folly Beach residents are currently exempt from a two-hour parking limit on Center Street. On Tuesday, city officials passed the first reading of an ordinance removing the exemption after a request from the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
David Chandler lives on Folly and said he believes there should be perks to being a local.
“We’ve already lost so much community here on Folly Beach because of obvious reasons – new construction, new people coming in. It turned into more of a touristy area and there’s no local community anymore,” said Chandler.
Under the current protocol, anyone without a resident’s tag could face a $60 ticket if they are parked longer than the allotted time – something Gresh Meggett of James Island said he doesn’t agree with.
“If you look at our taxes, we all pay for the parking, everything down here. But yet, they’re ticketing people for no reason really. You shouldn’t have to pay for parking here. It’s what it comes down to,” said Meggett.
For others, the topic of parking shines a light on another issue – public beach access.
“Beaches are for everybody, and the South Carolina State Constitution explicitly says that the beach and access to the beach is a guaranteed right of the public,” said Michael Barnett, a local beach advocate. “So, what right does Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, or Sullivan’s Island have to restrict beach access to anybody in any shape or form?”
The ordinance will face additional readings before it can be passed.