Paid parking coming to some areas in North Myrtle Beach

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH (WBTW) – North Myrtle Beach City Council voted on Monday night to pass an ordinance which will allow the city manager to “establish paid parking lots and paid parking zones.”

City spokesperson, Pat Dowling, said residents and tourists shouldn’t worry about this ordinance making every parking spot in the city a metered spot.

“It’s not a path to the future necessarily,” said Dowling. “It’s a tool the city manager can use to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to park in an ocean-front parking space.”

Dowling said the ordinance was created in response to some hotel employees and residents parking in free, ocean-front parking lots every day. He said those employees and guests have parking garages to use but they often do not use them.

The paid parking spots are supposed to deter those employees and guests from parking in spaces that could be used by tourists and locals trying to get to the beach.

There is already one paid parking lot at 4th Avenue South and there are plans to charge in lots on 3rd Avenue North and 4th Avenue North.

Parking will be $1 per hour and will be year-round. Dowling said the goal is to encourage faster turn-over of vehicles so there are more available spaces for people to park.

“Our ultimate goal in this city is to, sort of, resolve a problem we have which is a huge deficit of what we call near-beach public parking,” added Dowling.

The money from the parking meters will go towards purchasing more land to add more parking lots in the city.

Paid parking in the three lots will begin as soon as possible.