ISLE OF PALMS — Spring breakers were happy to find additional free public parking available Wednesday on 8th Avenue, but city officials said the situation was expected to be short-lived and end today.
The west shoulder of 8th Avenue between Ocean Boulevard and Carolina Avenue has been a no-parking zone.
However, on Tuesday night, the city took away signs telling people not to park there.
That meant Sonya House of Summerville could leave her car on the west shoulder of 8th Avenue near Ocean Boulevard to enjoy a cloudless day at the beach with her kids on Wednesday.
“That is nice,” she said of the change. “I just like it because it’s farther out from the crowds of people. It just seems a little more private down here.”
However, police will install new no-parking signs at the location sometime today, said Town Administrator Linda Tucker.
The situation happened in part because someone put up about a half-dozen unofficial no-parking signs on the road shoulder. It came to the attention of the city on Tuesday, which took down the signs later that night, Tucker said.
She said she did not know who put up the unofficial signs telling people they could not park on the west shoulder of the road. She looked at the signs on Tuesday and noticed that they were attached to nonmetal posts with “zip-ties” rather than bolts.
Tucker speculated that someone took down the official no-parking signs, which resulted in the new unofficial signs being erected.
Even though an area such as the west shoulder of 8th Avenue is officially a no-parking zone, property owners cannot post their own signs in a state-owned right of way, Tucker said.
Across the street, about 60 yards of the east shoulder of the avenue was landscaped by a homeowner in a way that affected public parking.
The homeowner said it was done for safety reasons. Surfers said it deprived them of a longtime favorite parking place. The state and the homeowner are working out a compromise.
The situation is part of the city’s ongoing effort to address its summer parking issues. Residents have complained about unruly beachgoers, which has prompted City Council to consider new restrictions on parking. So far, nothing has been decided.
Among the options under consideration is a $65 seasonal pass for those who wish to park on streets outside the commercial area from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from March through September.
If approved, up to 1,000 of the passes would be issued starting in 2013.
Hundreds of pay parking spaces are available in the city commercial district not far from 8th Avenue, but visitors often choose to leave their cars on neighborhood roadsides for free.
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