Island Gazette

Proposal to expand parking facilities at Lake Park

Editor, Mr. Stanberry and Town Council Members,
We are writing to add additional concerns and constructive ideas to the article by Jennifer Baratta from the January 12th paper in response to proposal to expand parking facilities at the Carolina Beach Lake.
We agree with the previous editorial that adding more pavement to the park will take away from the beauty and serenity, which is a draw for tourists. More importantly are the concerns of the flooding of the lake. Considering the lake flooded 8 blocks out the last time we had significant rain, more pavement is not the answer to make extra money for the city, rather could result in more cost to the local citizens and business owners who have to pay for clean up when flood waters expand past 8 blocks due to little to no soil to absorb rainwater.
We also agree with the previous editorial that there are numerous parking lots not in use during the events at the lake that could be utilized as well as adding a shuttle service from the parking area at Federal Point, where there is a plethora of parking as a result of few businesses. Tourist these days are used to being shuttled to Airlie Gardens locally and through some of the National Parks nationally.  Using a shuttle system would also help to cut down on the congestion of tourists leaving the island as they will already be at the end of the island closest to the bridge. 
If an event is going to require so much additional parking it may be a better idea to make use of Fort Fisher, where they also shuttle and/or expect visitors to walk to the main stage area.
As Carolina Beach continues to add more activities for tourists in the summer there has continued to be a feel of a smaller, local community that should not be taken away in order to try and bring more people to the island.  There are ways to bring more people and without taking away the reason why people chose to live at Carolina Beach year round.
Ginette Vilain and Amy Horgan
Carolina Beach, NC

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