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Georgetown takes new aim at enforcing Front Street parking, removing abandoned cars

Front Street parking

Georgetown Mayor Carol Jayroe wrote in an April 28 letter to staff that enforcement of the two-hour parking time limit along certain blocks of Front Street has resulted in 159 tickets since January. Mike Woodel/Staff

GEORGETOWN — Cars parked illegally along Front Street or abandoned throughout the city of Georgetown will be targeted under recent directives from Mayor Carol Jayroe to keep city streets less crowded.

Jayroe brought up the hiring of a new code enforcement officer and a request for police to tag abandoned cars in her 100-day message to employees. She noted that codes for abandoned cars and parking over the time limit on Front Street had gone without equal enforcement.

"One of the things we heard from the voters loud and clear — from ALL sections of Georgetown — was they wanted Council and the Administration to ENFORCE equally ordinances that have been ignored for years," Jayroe wrote in the letter.

Jayroe wrote that the new code enforcement officer, Cameron Howard, has helped the city ticket 159 illegally parked cars along Front Street and tag 88 abandoned cars for removal after seven days on a property without permission. She clarified that those numbers reflect the number of cars ticketed and tagged since January, when she took office.

"We're limited in parking on Front Street," Jayroe said in an interview. "We just don't have that much, and it's just not fair for an owner of a business to use a parking space in front of their business all day long. It's hurting them. They're the ones missing business, in my opinion."

Georgetown city ordinance names the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Saturday as the hours of enforcement for two-hour parking along Front Street between King and Queen streets. With the heavy concentration of retail and restaurants along that four-block stretch, workers need parking during those hours.

Still, Jayroe is firm in her opinion that suitable parking is available off Front Street.

"You can walk a half a block down … and park in the city parking lot or on the side streets," Jayroe said.

Some workers along Front Street say they've gotten used to parking on side streets, so the two-hour limit is no annoyance. Another worker noted that the signs warning motorists of the limit are too short and easily blocked from view when parking spaces are full.

Sallylu Luciani of Open Road Clothing Co. said it's easy enough to find legal parking off Front Street when she works. The last time she got a parking ticket in the area was 10 years ago.

"That was when I didn't realize, I was brand new here," Luciani said.

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Mike Woodel reports on Georgetown County for The Post and Courier. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2018 and previously worked for newspapers in Montana and South Dakota.