Editorial: Residential Parking Permits

By / Editorials / الأربعاء, 15 آب/أغسطس 2018 14:24

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

KURE BEACH – Since the 1970’s, the Town of Kure Beach has not enforced parking restrictions in the public right of way. Fast forward to 2018, and increased development north of Snow’s Cut Bridge means more people will be visiting Pleasure Island and parking issues will become more apparent.

How should the Town address this issue?

The Council’s first response was to ban parking in the public right of way unless in designated spaces. On the surface that seems like an appropriate cure all for the issue. It's not, but it was a starting point. The Town has allowed residential development over the last 40 or 50 years to occur with limited spaces on private property and knew overflow parking would occur on-street in the public right of way.

Now the Council and some residents think that scenario has become a problem. It has.

The best solution is to prohibit uncontrolled parking in the public right-of-way and to issue residential parking permits. That means residents can still hold birthday parties, family reunions and other gatherings at their homes and park their permitted vehicles in the public right of way within 50’ (or some other agreed distance from their property) without blocking adjacent driveways or creating a public safety issue for police and fire trucks that may need to travel on that street without dodging parked vehicles.

As for property owners that rent their homes as vacation rentals, the majority of them live out of Town and don’t register their vehicles in Kure Beach with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Taking that into consideration, the Town should only issue residential permits to “full time residents” with vehicle registrations in Kure Beach.

That way the vacation rental owners can’t get residential permits to hand out to their renters.

That would set the stage for residents to have some breathing room for gatherings at their homes, using their permits to park on street and free up spaces in their own driveways for their visitors. If they require more “temporary spaces” they could apply at Town Hall for additional permits well in advance of their gathering and provide a reasonable justification for their request.

That’s not out of the ordinary as many Town’s require permits to hold yard sales and limit those permits to 2 or 3 per year to put a cap on vehicle traffic that may impact a neighborhood on an annual basis.

The apparent goal of the Council is to resolve a problem communicated by full time residents concerning excessive parking at vacation rentals. State Law limits the Town’s ability to outright limit their existence and all of the parking woes that come with their operation. For example, a four bedroom house that is advertised as a vacation rental that sleeps 20+ people. Obviously the existing driveway will not accommodate the vehicles of 20 or more people, so they have to park on the street. Get a few of those rental situations on a single block and one can see where it would become a problem not only for other area residents, but more importantly for emergency vehicles that may encounter road blocks when they have to drive down a road with vehicles parked on either side blocking their way to a house fire, a heart attack, or other emergency call.

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