Pawleys Island officials say golf cart permits required after parking problems

Published: Jun. 24, 2016 at 10:13 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2016 at 1:58 AM EDT
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Ryan Fabbri, Town Administrator, Pawleys Island.
Ryan Fabbri, Town Administrator, Pawleys Island.

PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WMBF) - If law enforcement has to issue a parking citation for an illegally parked golf cart, it is difficult because law enforcement officials have not found a way to identify who the golf cart belongs to, unlike a car it doesn't have a license plate number. However, town officials hope by requiring those that operate a golf cart to have a permit will help them enforce the state and local golf cart laws.

Town Administrator, Ryan Fabbri say parking problems are forcing the town to come up with a solution. "People come onto the island with their golf cart, and they don't think that golf carts need to abide by the same parking rules as a vehicle," Fabbri explained.

The golf carts have no way to identify who they belong to when parked, so law enforcement must put a boot on the cart. "That's really the only option that we have, so we put a boot on, and they come out and once they come to us and say they need to get this boot off, we issue them a citation," Fabbri said.

There is one reason why the town wants to require golf cart permits. Fabbri said, "We're not trying to make it harder for anybody we're just trying to give our law enforcement personnel tools to enforce these rules."

The local golf cart ordinance mirrors the state law for golf carts, which says drivers must have a valid license, insurance, and registration in order to operate a golf cart in South Carolina. "The registration from the DMV which shows, obviously where it's registered if you are not registered within four miles you obviously can't have that golf cart here," Fabbri said.

Fabbri also says they have experience quite a few out-of- town guest hauling their golf carts on trailers on the island, he says that is not allowed because it violates the state law. However Fabbri said, they have not been able to enforce the law because they don't have a way to identify who the golf cart belongs to or verify where it is registered.

Town officials are still ironing out the plans for the permits, including how they will be able to incorporate the two mile or 4 mile registration requirement, especially for those that live in neighboring areas of Pawleys Island.

The price for golf cart permits has not been set. Fabbri says the plan is to slowly start introducing the change, so eventually in  2017 it will be fully in effect.

"Provide all the documentation they need to prove to us that everything is legitimate and that won't have a problem," Fabbri stated.

Fabbri also says they plan to add new surveillance cameras at a pedestrian beach access point. Currently, the town has two cameras operating at the First Street beach access and at the south end parking lot. The camera will be located at Davis Street beach access. Fabbri said residents in the area were complaining about disorderly conduct, particularly underage drinking, and public urination.

"This will give us a tool to know what's going on down there, and keep an eye on it because we are such a small force we have three and half miles of beach to cover, and can't be everywhere all the time," Fabbri said.

The surveillance cameras are expected to be installed next week.

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