North Myrtle Beach looking to fund public parking through business development

North Myrtle Beach looking to fund public parking through business development

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH (WMBF) – The city of North Myrtle Beach hopes to alleviate the frustration of parking for both visitors and business owners near Main Street.

"It's in crisis," said Harold Worley, North Myrtle Beach business owner and Horry County Council member.

City council met Friday and came up with a potential plan to fix ongoing parking issues.

"We've been doing fine for the last 15 years, but now we have some new people that want to come in and build and that's good, but they need to furnish parking for the customers," Worley said.

Right now, new businesses are required to put in parking for their customers.

The proposal would allow those new businesses or businesses looking to expand to pay the city a fee instead of putting in their own parking spots. That money would then go toward building public parking lots within two blocks of Main Street

Each space will cost the business $25,000, which North Myrtle Beach Spokesperson Pat Dowling said would be the cost to business owners to put in a single parking spot on their own.

Dowling said the process of adding private parking for customers can difficult for new businesses or businesses looking to expand due to the limited space available in the Main Street area.

This gives those businesses another option, while also allowing the city to look toward the future, such as working toward building a parking garage, he said.

"I like the idea of pooling money and putting it toward a centralized investment that everybody can benefit from," said Ryan Dayvault, who is visiting North Myrtle Beach.

Worley said he agrees with funding public parking with business fees, but he thinks the city needs to build the parking lot before the businesses that pay for the spots are allowed to open.

"The folks go ahead and build their building, pay their $25,000 for their parking, but where do you think they're going to park? They're going to park in Fat Harold's parking lot," Worley said.

The idea still has to be formally adopted at a city council meeting as a resolution before it can go into effect.

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