Charleston Beach Foundation Fights For Sullivan’s Island Beach Parking

By Brian Sherman for The Island Eye News

(Photo by Margaret Burns)

The Charleston Beach Foundation doesn’t think there is enough parking along state roads for visitors to Sullivan’s Island. In a July 19 letter, Beach Foundation codirectors Myra Jones and Lee Rowland asked Mayor Pat O’Neil and the Town Council to give nonresidents and residents of the island “the same rights and privileges to all state roads within the jurisdiction of Sullivan’s Island pursuant to state and federal law.” The letter also asked that most of the space on state roads and rights of way where only golf carts are currently permitted to park be used for all motor vehicles. 

The letter stated that because only residents can take advantage of the golf-carts-only spaces, this policy “is discriminatory against nonresidents and does not afford nonresidents the right of equality and privilege to the state roads.” According to the town’s website, golf carts are not permitted on Ben Sawyer Boulevard or Jasper Boulevard and cannot cross Breach Inlet to the Isle of Palms, which, according to the Beach Foundation letter, means that only Sullivan’s Island residents and renters can park a golf cart in the golf-carts-only parking areas. Town Administrator Andy Benke mentioned the letter from the Beach Foundation during his report at the Council’s July 19 meeting, and O’Neil pointed out that there currently are 3,000 free parking spaces on the island. Benke said the town’s parking plan has been approved by the South Carolina Department of Transportation. 

“We chose that parking configuration for safety reasons for the most part, so fire apparatus or EMS could get through the busy streets on the weekends or during weekdays in the summer months,” Benke said. “For the most part, golf cart parking is on the side of the road where vehicles would not be allowed to park, so I don’t know how we’re taking away from public parking.” 

The Mission of the Charleston Beach Foundation is to promote and advocate for expanded and enhanced access to Charleston area beaches. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.