Amid COVID-19, Carolina Beach Still Wants Drivers To Feed The Meter

Amid COVID-19, Carolina Beach Still Wants Drivers To Feed The Meter

Amid COVID-19, Carolina Beach Still Wants Drivers To Feed The Meter Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 01 April 2020 21:36

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Restaurants in downtown Carolina Beach are working hard to provide take-out orders and delivery amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Town and County have issued an order for those establishments to close their dining rooms to help prevent community-spread of the virus. On Tuesday, New Hanover County reported 34 cases while awaiting  other test results pending at other labs.

The Town of Carolina Beach offers free parking during the off-season at metered parking spaces and pay parking lots.

On April 1st, parking enforcement is set to begin for the 2020-2021 season.

The Town Council recently ordered all beach access points closed to discourage people from visiting the area. The Council also closed all town-owned parking lots. On-street parking spaces are still open.

Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin responded to a question from the Gazette on Tuesday March 31st on whether the Town would begin charging for parking at meters throughout Town during the pandemic.

Parvin explained, "Yes Sir. Lots remain closed but all other parking will be operational and Lanier will be out around town."

The Carolina Beach Town Council voted Tuesday March 10th, to raise parking fees.

The Town Council discussed increasing parking rates during their February 25th, meeting. The proposal will increase hourly rates in Town owned pay-parking   lots from $2.50 and hour to $5 an hour and from $17 per day to $20 per day. That's based on paid lots operated by other property owners that charged the same rates in 2019 and were well utilized by people parking to visit the beach or local establishments.

The Town currently has 19 paid parking lots that charge a fee for parking from April to October from 8am to 10pm. During the off-season parking is free at lots and on-street metered spaces. The proposal would expand the season in 2020 to April through November and in 2021, from March to November. Some lots such as the one at the Carolina Beach Lake would be restricted to two-hour parking. Rates for parking meters would be increased to from $2.50 to $3.00 per hour to discourage people from parking in those spaces in front of businesses to visit the beach rather than parking in long-term spaces in the paid parking lots.

The lots that would not see an increase would be the Week's Lot on the west side of the Town's marina on Canal Drive, the lot at 1708  Canal Drive,the Harbor Masters Lot on Canal Drive just north of the Marina at the lot in front of Hang Ten Grill on South Lake Park Blvd.

The purpose is to focus rate increases on lots that see the most demand from people wishing to park and visit the beach front or the downtown area. The lots with the highest visitor count.

During the March 10th Council meeting, the Council voted, after a long session of exchanges and multiple votes and further discussions Councilman Steve Shuttleworth made a final motion explaining the Town would go to non-resident passes at $175 dollars per year for a parking pass. Employees working in downtown Carolina Beach will pay $100 per year for a parking pass and  Carolina Beach property owners as well as the golf cart and slow moving vehicles will increase from $20 to $40 per year for a parking permit to park in on-street and paid parking lots.

In Town owned pay-parking lots, the increase will be from $2.50 and hour to $5 an hour and from $17 per day to $20 per day. The Town will stop enforcing the two-hour parking limit after 8pm in order to not ticket people attending night time events during the busy tourism season.

The Council voted four to one with Councilman Lynn Barbee voting no and Mayor Leann Pierce and Council members Steve Shuttleworth, Jay Healy and JoDan Garza voting yes.

Parking Decals
• Resident: $ 40.00
• Non-Resident: $ 175.00
• CBD Employee: $ 100.00

Golf Cart/LSV Permits
• Resident $ 40.00
• Non-Resident: $ 100.00
Metered Parking Rates
• Without time restrictions: $ 5.00/hour or $20.00/day
• With 2-hour time restrictions: $ 3.00/hour
    o Time restrictions end at 8:00 p.m.

Parking Lot Rates
• Vehicles and small trucks:
• Canal Dr., Weeks, and Atlanta Ave. lots $ 3.00/hour or $17.00/day
• All other lots $ 5.00/hour or $20.00/day
• Limos and oversized vehicles $ 5.00/hour or $20.00/day

Parking Violation Fees
• Citation amount: $ 50.00
• With non-payment penalty (after 7 days) $ 60.00
• With non-payment penalty (after 15 days) $ 80.00

Handicap Parking: No charges shall be administered to parking lot patrons that are displaying valid handicap documentation and are in a designated handicap parking place.

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