Surfside Beach Town Council considers stricter parking law

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Some members of the Surfside Beach Town Council want to limit free parking along roads in the town.

The council met Tuesday night to discuss a law that would require cars to be parked at least ten feet from driveways. Current South Carolina law states that cars cannot block driveways but does not specify a distance requirement.

"This will ensure that the public is safer when parking along Ocean Boulevard and it will make it safer for everybody," said Randle Stevens of the Surfside Beach Town Council.

But not all residents are on board with the proposed law.

"In the summer you realize we have thousands of people and Ocean Boulevard and Surfside Beach is probably a couple of miles long so there's not a lot of parking," said John Grover.

Grover lives in Surfside Beach and says that all available space is needing during peak tourism times. There are 12 pay parking lots in the town.

"The only time I really notice parking on the side of the road is when there is a parade or festival going on or something of that sort going on at that time in the downtown area," Gilda Pruitt said. She says she's never been bothered by cars parking on the side of Ocean Boulevard.

Chief Mike Frederick of Surfside Beach Police Department says the speed limit averages 30 mile per hour along Ocean Boulevard so that contributes to the low accident rate. There haven't been any parking accidents with injury along Ocean Boulevard in three years according to the Surfside Beach Police Department.

Still some residents say they worry about driving when it gets crowded during the summer time.

"If I see cars parked on the side my only concern is kids darting out on between them onto the road," said George Skulas.

To make the change, the council must vote in favor of the law at two readings. The next council meeting is November 13.

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