SCDOT to revoke Isle of Palms 2015 parking plan that restricts public parking on most roads

Charleston County News

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Transportation on Monday sent a letter to Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll and City Council revoking a parking plan that was implemented in 2015.

That plan essentially restricted parking on most streets for people who do not live on the island.

“Over the last week, there have been several discussions regarding parking along state-owned highways on the Isle of Palms,” said SCDOT’s Secretary of Transportation, Christy Hall, in her letter to IOP leaders.

Hall noted that the department has not identified any safety issues along Palm Boulevard (SC 703) that would “warrant the permanent elimination of significant restriction of public parking.”

It’s another move in the on-going battle for public parking on the island.

Secretary Hall says SCDOT is willing to work with the city to allow angle parking along Palm Boulevard and review the flow of multimodal traffic in the area. “This review would include evaluating crosswalks, speed limits and signage,” she said.

Hall went on to say, “I am of the opinion that the 2015 plan has improperly designed a significant number of state-owned highway right of ways as “resident-only parking,” potentially denying non-residents their constitutional guaranty of equality and privilege.”

She says the state-owned roads that intersect SC 703 should be re-evaluated for the restoration of public parking along the first block.

Directors of the Charleston Beach Foundation say they are “thrilled and appreciative of the efforts of SCDOT to take corrective action regarding non-resident parking on the Isle of Palms.”

In a letter obtained by News 2, the leaders with the foundation wrote, “Over many years we have watched as the City Council of the Isle of Palms, along with other beach communities, restricted and removed vast amounts of available free public parking on state-owned roads, providing access to public state beaches, to island residents only.  This was presented very clearly by the testimony of Secretary of Transportation Director Christy Hall in the Senate Transportation Subcommittee meeting on January 26th and by a map of the Isle of Palms prepared by SCDOT. We were grateful to attend and provide a statement at this hearing on behalf of our Foundation and Lowcountry residents who have been denied their rights guaranteed by the South Carolina Constitution to access, without discrimination, public parking on state roadways and thus our public beach on the Isle of Palms.”

The directors, Lee Rowland, Corey Kinsella and Myra Jones, said the foundation will continue its efforts to support Senator Larry Grooms’ Bill S.40 which they say, “protects all citizens’ rights to access our public beaches fairly and equally.”

Isle of Palms City Council will hold a special city council meeting on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. to discuss how they will proceed.

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