Horry County leaders respond to city parking changes. (Source: WMBF News)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – As it stands now, people must to be Myrtle Beach residents and have a city decal to park in the beach access lots along Ocean Boulevard north of 31st Avenue North for free.
If not, motorists must use a pay-by-phone system, one that costs up to $10 a day.
The new regulation also reserves street-side parking for city residents and while Horry County Council cannot overrule the city's call, it plans to help its own residents.
Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus believes it is important to get everyone on the same page.
“You know, we are obviously going to try to work with the cities, the municipalities and try to put together a comprehensive parking commission for all of the Grand Strand,” he said.
Lazarus added this could include establishing some park-and-ride lots.
“That way people can park and there will be a nice facility where we can drop them off, where there may be bathrooms and changing facilities and things like that, where they can access the beach in different areas,” he said.
Lazarus said it is no secret the Grand Strand is growing and those who live here, and want to live here, are anxious to enjoy the beach as well.
“As we grow and as our county residents continue to grow, it's going to be a problem and they want to go to the beach," he said. "And we are going to have to be able to provide access to them in some fashion. So we will continue to work on that.”
Lazarus also acknowledged people who work in the city limits but may live in the county and strongly believes those people have the right to park in the city they work in, stress free.
“They’re helping provide for this economy and I think they need to be treated fairly," he said. "Just because they don't pay a car tax inside the city limits, I don't think that should eliminate them from at least getting a parking permit - whether they have to pay for it or otherwise - in certain areas that they like to go to.”
Lazarus said the council understands the frustration of those who don't live within the city limits and county council will make sure to work with all of the surrounding municipalities to come to a solution.