Where to Park, How Much and Why

Where to Park, How Much and Why

Where to Park, How Much and Why

By / Local News / Friday, 02 July 2021 16:06

Carolina Beach has been dealing with paid parking and permits for quite sometime but in Kure Beach is in their first Season. Last month the Kure Beach Mayor shared this letter from the Town’s website: “Letter From the Mayor - Paid Parking Information: Dear Residents / Owners at Kure Beach;

I wanted you to know that the long road to paid parking at Kure Beach is soon to become a reality. Shortly you will see crews installing just two kiosks near downtown, you will see parking signs in discreet colors and designs being put up in areas of the Town. You will not see meters. We have worked with Premium Parking to use a friendly and low cost system to pay in four simple ways:

Pay by Texting, pay by camera, pay by phone call, pay by kiosk in downtown. Each of these methods take seconds and at least one does not require a smart phone. Explanations of these pay methods will soon be on the Town website for our guests and visitors. The control point of the system for pay and enforcement is your license plate number.

As a resident with an HOA beach front parking facility, or if you generally walk to the beach and businesses you can opt to do nothing. Our program will be effective from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM so our restaurants will have no impacts to evening dining and entertainment. You do have the ability to register your license plate for parking anywhere at anytime for a fee of $20 each for up to 2 plates, golf carts can be included in this. A third plate registration would need a season fee of $100. We have limited spaces and many more residents so we need to manage the space accordingly. This doesn’t guarantee a place to park, only that if you find one you would only need to abide by the timing in spots identified for time limited parking. On your own property you still have control of the right of way, no one should park there without your approval, a phone call to the Police Department will remedy that situation.

We will have special parking in the 15 spaces on the south side of K Avenue from Fort Fisher to Atlantic Avenue, 5 spaces will be 30 minutes FREE parking for take out at the local businesses and located in the middle of that street to have less impact on turns from the traffic light. The other 10 spaces will be 2 hour parking spaces for lunch and shopping at $3 per hour unless you have your license plate registered, in that case its still limited to 2 hours.

On Sunday Mornings from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Sixth Street and Third Street the marked parking will be free for worship hours. At 1:00 PM enforcement will begin in those areas.

We need to be concerned about our workers and our guests. The workers that provide services in the stores and restaurants in our town need parking too. We will have a $100 whole season pass for workers as long as they are employed by local merchants.

Guests will have options also, a full season pass will cost $200 for the guests that share the Town infrastructure and the beach through the season. The occasional guest can pay $5 per hour or $20 for the day, weekly guest rentals can purchase a week pass for $100 to avoid the daily pay for the week.

You may ask why is this necessary? This is a large change to our community. As the surrounding area grows by 40,000 in the next decade we can expect that all will have a desire to share the beach. Today during season we grow 3 to 4 times our size in guests and residents. Like your home with guests the costs rise. We need more police and first responder support, trash is multiplied by more than 3 as you see the trash stacked on collection days, water and sewerage increases, lifeguards are added, the roads take traffic wear, beach access points need new signs and service, all costs are higher. The Towns experience over the last year with increased visitors and the anticipated continuous growth moves us to join the large number of beaches in North Carolina that have paid parking. We are asking that our guests share in that cost that you have shouldered alone for many years.

If we generate the revenue expected and enjoyed by the other beach towns we will use that revenue where it is most needed, from road repair to storm water drainage, to beach support or any other place that it can best serve our residents and owners.

We will put out more information in the next few weeks regarding how and when to sign on, what the initial grace period will be for warnings and the actual start date for the program. We expect to begin in early April and end parking September 30th in time for the October fishing season.

It is the Town Commissioners goal to keep Kure Beach a clean, safe, welcoming place for our guests and visitors. A place where the residents can continue to live with the support needed to keep Kure Beach a special destination and a wonderful place to live and play. Best Regards, Craig Bloszinsky 
Mayor Kure Beach.”

Comparing and contrasting both towns and their unique parking situations there is confusion from both sides but for completely different reasons. In Carolina Beach residents and guests are faced with Town owned parking lots, Town-run but privately owned lots and finally, owned and privately managed lots. In Councilman Lynn Barbee’s Weekly Update he shared visiting the lots recently with the Town Manager Bruce Oakley stating, “Some of the temporary lots are pretty confusing.  Which lot am I in?  Which sign do I follow?  This pay station is out of order where do I go?  I have to admit I can see the confusion.” While in the heart of Kure Beach signage is ample and clear the side street parking gets a little hazy as some of spray painted stencils are extremely hard to read in addition, the parking management offers no local number or office with requests or questions taking 24 hours to answer. Residents and workers from both towns question why an Island wide parking decal is unavailable and the costs associated with out of town employees parking to work. Speaking to visitors in Kure Beach last week, many were discouraged and explained the free parking was their draw to visiting in the past and will affect future decisions to come back.    

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