City enforces 'No Parking' along Ocean Boulevard in Golden Mile - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

City enforces 'No Parking' along Ocean Boulevard in Golden Mile area

Parking along Myrtle Beach's "Golden Mile" is now prohibited. (Source: WMBF News) Parking along Myrtle Beach's "Golden Mile" is now prohibited. (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The city of Myrtle Beach has modified parking plans along the "Golden Mile," now making it illegal to park along Ocean Boulevard in that area. 

According to Mark Kruea, Myrtle Beach spokesperson, the east side of Ocean Boulevard north of 31st Avenue North is now 'no parking.'

"Previously, this area had been signed 'decal parking only' as part of the city’s efforts to protect the neighborhoods from the influx of summertime parking," said Kruea. 

Kruea added with this new change to the parking plan, warning tickets will be issued for the newly-marked “no parking” area for the next week.

The change to “no parking” eliminates approximately 60 spaces. Kruea said a few spaces near the Gardens by the Sea Park will now be paid parking. 

Myrtle Beach City Councilman Wayne Gray said the city's manager, John Pedersen, made the decision to change the area to no parking. He added that allowing only city residents to park in those spaces was not equitable access to both local and county residents.

Gray said, to make it fair, parking in that area has been eliminated all together.  

Horry County officials were questioning whether the city's new parking rules violated the contract with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers that allots spending taxpayer dollars on sand renourishment projects. 

Kruea could not confirm the parking changes were a direct result of the contract.

"From the beginning, all the parking plans would be subject to review and revision," he said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston district, said it reviewed the recent changes to the city of Myrtle Beach’s parking rules and determined they do not violate the project cooperative agreement in place for beach nourishment.

Sean McBride, Public Affairs Specialist, for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, issued the following statement:  "

Upon review, the Charleston District has determined that everyone, both City of Myrtle Beach residents and non-residents, are being consistently charged for parking and, therefore, there is no violation of the agreement. The specifics of how those charges are incurred, whether through taxes to residents or fees to non-residents, are a decision up to the City of Myrtle Beach and all questions about those charges should be directed to them. The non-federal sponsor (the City of Myrtle Beach) is allowed to charge reasonable beach recreation use fees to offset its share of the project costs. Normal charges made by a municipality for use of facilities, such as parking areas, are not considered a charge for the use of the federal beach project, as long as they are commensurate with the value of the service they provide and return only a reasonable profit. Fees for such services must be applied uniformly to all parties concerned and not as a prerequisite to beach use. As all parties, both residents and non-residents, are being charged for parking, and the charge is not a prerequisite for beach use, such charges do not violate the agreement. Additionally, restricting access to parking in some areas is not prohibited by the project cooperative agreement as long as reasonable parking is available to the general public. The agreement does not restrict the City of Myrtle Beach from declaring certain areas for “residents only” as long as beach parking is available to the general public elsewhere. In order to ensure this, the City of Myrtle Beach can, and does, provide public transportation facilities and shuttle buses as a substitute or complement to parking facilities. Further, the City of Myrtle Beach provides more than 40 public beach access points, which provide adequate access for the general public to the beach. As of March 29, 2016, more than $24 million in federal funding has been spent on initial construction, periodic nourishment and hurricane emergency rehabilitation on this stretch of Myrtle Beach under the beach nourishment agreement with the City. Myrtle Beach is one of several beaches throughout the state that receives periodic beach nourishment through agreements with the Charleston District."

Gray said council will be asked to affirm the changes at Tuesday's city council meeting. 

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