COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – A beach parking bill passed the third and final reading on Thursday in the South Carolina House of Representatives and is now headed to Governor McMaster’s desk for his signature.
Bill S.40 requires a municipality to get prior approval from the South Carolina Department of Transportation before establishing, altering or restricting the use of parking facilities on a state highway facility.
It also states parking on state highway facilities located in beach communities may only be restricted if SCDOT determines that the restrictions are necessary and issues an encroachment permit.
“This is a win for all citizens of the state of South Carolina as it is now clear that SCDOT has final approval authority over any restrictions (including parking fees) a beach municipality may wish to impose on parking facilities on state roadways,” said members of the Charleston Beach Foundation.
The bill also changes the penalty for a person who willfully obstructs a highway or a ditch or drainage opening along any highway.
“In current law, the penalty is no more than $100 or imprisonment for no more than 30 days. This legislation will change the penalty to no more than $100 per day, imprisonment for no more than 30 days, or both,” the bill states.
“We have full trust and faith in SCDOT that it will enforce this law which will ensure that everyone will be able to afford a day at the beach, and that there will be parking available to the general public on our state roadways that provide access to the beach,” the Charleston Beach Foundation said.