Lowcountry beach communities to meet, discuss possible plans for gradual reopening

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FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – Beach Communities across the Lowcountry are deciding how they want to lift Coronavirus restrictions including when to open beaches for everyone. Three of those communities will be meeting either on Monday or Tuesday.

Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms will all be meeting to discuss the possibility of beginning to relax restrictions and to develop plans for a gradual reopening of their communities. One Folly Beach resident who didn’t want to reveal their name believes beaches should reopen to the public.

“Maybe open it up for people at their own risk, if people want to take the risk of getting Coronavirus or something happening to them they can take that risk and it’s going to be on them,” says the Folly Resident.

The Folly Resident believes Folly Beach City Council should reopen beaches to give people a place to exercise as long as social distancing is being practiced.

“To close off the beach to everyone else that could get a good workout in or do something,” says the Folly Resident. “I think that would probably be the wrong approach.”

Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll says City Council will meet virtually Tuesday night at 6pm to discuss a phased reopening strategy plan for the island.

“I know there’s a big outcry for people wanting to come to the beach and I totally understand that and we’re going to talk about that tomorrow night,” says Mayor Carroll.

Mayor Carroll says City Council will discuss how to handle short term rentals moving forward, something that has a hard economic impact on many across the island including the City.

“As much as the property owners of these rentals, as much as the property management companies, as the restaurants the bars,” says Carroll.

Mayor Carroll says he believes the Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island will continue to work together very closely as they work to reopen the communites.

“I think Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms will remain pretty uniform because it’s working well,” says Carroll.

Back on Folly, residents are hoping if beaches are opened up, people will practice responsible social distancing.

“There’s certain people that will respect it and then there’s certain people that will disregard it so you have to take that into consideration too,” says the Folly Resident.

The resident says the important thing is to stay positive.

“Stay safe, stay careful, stay optimistic,” says the Folly Resident.

Folly Beach Council met on Monday night and decided to postpone making a decision on whether to ease restrictions. They will meet again on May 1st to reevaluate, and they will vote on May 6th.

Sullivan’s Island Town Council will meet Tuesday morning at 9am, and the Isle of Palms will meet Tuesday night at 6pm. All will be discussing the possibility of plans to gradually reopen.

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