SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Surfside Beach Town Council moved forward with ordinances regulating parking changes, fireworks, and beach nourishment.
Surfside Beach Town Council members passed the first reading on an ordinance which covers more parking regulations, but the decision was not unanimous. The ordinance would increase pier parking to $1.50 per hour.
It would allow nonresident property owners two free parking decals. It would also add a trial season for the sale of $100 parking permits to people who don't live in Surfside Beach.
All meters on Ocean Boulevard would come down except those between 16th and 17th Avenue, making it so only people with permits could park on the boulevard. The ordinance would also limit parking on Ocean Boulevard, preventing parking on the east side.
Council members went back and forth with the changes, arguing which side of Ocean Boulevard, east or west, is more safe. Some members suggested they "tread lightly" because they don't want to make the same mistake twice.
Mayor Doug Samples admits it's a conversation that may never end.
"It's something we've been talking about for two years," Samples said.
Recently, Samples said he's gone through records to see just how many times parking issues have been the topic of conversation. So far he said the parking committee has discussed parking 36 times, while the town council has had parking on their agenda over a dozen times.
Council members also passed the second reading for beach renourishment. The ordinance would allow $50,000 per year to go towards beach renourishment, meaning any upkeep the beach will need, like replenishing sand after years of beach erosion. Mayor Doug Samples explains despite being known as "the family beach" it's something the town's past administration never allotted money for. Samples admits they are all wondering if the federal government will fund their share of the renourishment process as they have in the past.
"...We're a little bit concerned. All of us along the coast, are a little concerned," Samples said. That, that money won't be as great as it has been in the past, consequently we need to take steps locally to ensure we have the resources on hand when they come and say it's time to renourish because it's done under a federal contract."
Another big talker at tonight's meeting: changes for Highway 17 Business within town limits. The council has put a proposal in motion to, as mayor Samples says, get the ball rolling with SCDOT. These changes could add some new traffic lights and intersections on 10th, 11th and 16th avenues.
The town council also passed the second reading for firework regulation on the Fourth of July. Though some council members revoked their past support, stating fireworks should be illegal all together 365 days of the year, the ordinance still went through.
The ordinance prohibits public firework use for 500 feet within both sides of the pier. Samples said it may be something the council will revisit in the future, but for now he believes they've answered the safety concerns that called for the ordinance to begin with.