Planning Commission To Consider Changing Rules For Pay Parking Lots

Planning Commission To Consider Changing Rules For Pay Parking Lots

Planning Commission To Consider Changing Rules For Pay Parking Lots Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 06 April 2021 20:06

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH -  The Carolina Beach Planning and Zoning Commission will consider amending the ordinance to govern private and temporary parking lots in the downtown area during their upcoming April 8th, meeting at 6:30pm at Town Hall.
According to Planning Director Jeremy Hardison, "Town Council requested staff to review the allowances for permanent and temporary commercial parking lots. In 2007 an allowance was created to allow for private lots to charge for parking in the Central Business District (CBD). The allowance was created with the downturn in the economy to allow vacant lot property owners to make use of their property that were in transition."
Hardison explained the Town currently has five parking lots in the downtown Central Business District (CBD). Three privately owned lots have contracts with the Town to manage their paid parking operations.
He explained, "There are five private temporary parking lots that are potentially looking to charge for parking this coming summer in the CBD. Permits for private parking lots are issued annually. If a permit is issued prior to the ordinance change then they would still be able to operate this summer. Temporary private parking lots can charge for parking from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Private lots can charge all year long if they are approved as permanent parking lots but are required to do more upgrades to handle storm water and provide landscaping. The town has not issued any permits for a permanent parking lot since the allowance was created in 2007."
Hardison explained concerns about the operation of commercial parking lots operating practices caused the review of the ordinance. He explained, "Private parking lots are known to be more aggressive with their enforcement practices (towing, booting, fines, etc.), require handicap to pay for any space, Town decals are not honored, often do not provide golf cart parking, fees are not controlled by the town, and private lots occasionally improperly manage trash. Along, with the confusion the public has had if the parking lot is managed by the town or a private entity."
Hardison explained earlier this week the Planning Commission will be given three recommendations:
1. Eliminate the allowance for private parking lots to charge for parking. The property owners could still benefit from utilizing their property for parking. An option would be to have an agreement with the town. This would create unified parking standards and regulations for all parking lots managed by one entity.
2. Allow existing commercial business in the CBD to charge for parking when the business is closed.
3. No change and continue to allow for private parking lots to charge in the CBD.

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