IOP RV

Residents spoke against allowing RV "camping" in winter near the Isle of Palms beach at a City Council committee meeting on Thursday. Bo Petersen/Staff

ISLE OF PALMS — The RV parking idea got towed away. 

Pushed quickly to the top of the agenda, the idea to turn a city parking area into a seasonal recreational vehicle camping site was quickly squashed Thursday.

A month after the full City Council let the motion die after hearing from a council room full of people who opposed it, a lower council committee did the same after four people spoke.

"Revenue generation should not be the priority of the council," resident Randy Bell told council's Real Property Committee.

He was amazed to see "for the fifth time" a proposal to open spots in the city's frontbeach public lot, off Palm Boulevard, to short-term rentals by recreational vehicle owners during the winter off-season.

"Bringing off-island traffic onto the island (off-season) to generate revenue is disgusting," he said.

Two of the three committee members concurred, at least far enough so that the proposal won't be moved on to the Ways and Means Committee for further action, for now.

Councilwoman Carol Rice told the other committee members she'd rather see the city work on beautifying the dirt lot to help brand the downtown commercial beach as a destination. Committee Chairwoman Barb Bergwerf said she would need to know more about costs and benefits.

RV parking advocate Councilman Patrick Harrington, though, wasn't so ready to let go.

"Everyone is saying, 'The sky is falling,'" Harrington said. "All it is is a parking spot. We're not proposing putting a circus out there."

Harrington said the city should at least trial run it. "If it is a problem, we just don't do it," he said.

The committee did ask staff to research costs and benefits of potentially opening the lot to boat storage over the winter.

But RVs were left out in the cold.

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Reach Bo Petersen Reporter at Facebook, @bopete on Twitter or 1-843-937-5744.

Science and environment reporter. Author of Washing Our Hands in the Clouds.