FOLLY BEACH -- The Edge of America may be nearing the edge of its patience, at least when it comes to littering, underage drinking and cars blocking driveways.
Newly elected Mayor Tim Goodwin and Public Safety Director Terry Boatwright said the city will step up enforcement this summer to ensure visitors respect the rules.
They would prefer not to write any tickets or make any arrests, so they're getting the word out early in hopes of preventing problems.
"Folly Beach is not the place to come to do anything you want anytime you want," Goodwin said. "We want to be a good host, but we want you to be a good guest."
Goodwin said Folly isn't trying to remove its welcome mat. He said most of the city's 2,200 residents don't mind day trippers or those who rent homes or hotel rooms -- at least not until they find one of them using their yard as a restroom.
During his campaign, Goodwin was fond of telling voters that before he moved to Folly, "I was your tourist problem. I was the kid who went out in the surf. I was the kid who came out to the pier. I was the kid you swore at, saying,
"Don't park on those bushes!' "
But last summer did mark a tipping point of sorts.
On the July Fourth weekend, as many as 40,000 people descended upon the island and left behind mounds of beer cans, juice boxes, broken beach chairs, coolers and other debris.
Boatwright also said Folly will have more undercover or "low-profile" officers patrolling the sands.
They not only will keep an eye out for litterbugs but also for underage drinking, anyone publicly intoxicated, dogs on the beach between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., open beer containers or wine bottles (alcohol is permitted but only in plastic cups) and open fires of any sort.
"I don't want to communicate a heavy-handed enforcement policy," Boatwright said, "but at the same time, we want to be as present as we can as a deterrent. We would prefer to do things less aggressively, but we'll do what it takes."
Folly police also will conduct more random license checks, and its parking officers will step up enforcement, too.
Goodwin said the parking rules are simple: park parallel to the road with all four tires off the asphalt and don't block driveways, sidewalks or fire hydrants.
In the wake of last summer's litter, Folly has formed a beach- management patrol, a group of residents who are paid about $8 an hour to pick up trash and monitor what's going on.
Folly Zoning Administrator Aaron Pope, who works with the beach patrol, said it has five members, but he hopes to add more in the coming weeks and months.
"We'd take as many as we get," he said.
Pope said patrol members not only pick up trash, but they talk to people to remind them of the rules. "It's basically a goodwill, public relations-type service," he said.
The coming crackdown has the blessing of City Council.
Councilman Paul Hume said the city hopes to change people's perception of what will be tolerated.
"If there are problems, we're going to deal with them more aggressively than we have, and we just feel it's fair to tell people that in advance," he said.
Close supervision will have the same positive effect on visitors that discipline has on children, he said, adding, "Treat us like you would if you were visiting your grandma's house."