At tonights city council meeting, Isle of Palms City Council unanimously voted in favor of moving forward with a permit allocation plan. Many details still have to be worked out, but steps needed to be taken in order to be ready for the summer of 2015. There will be a public education hearing to better inform the residents about the plan. The actual number of permits is yet to be determined but the residents of the island have demanded their elected officials do something. Hopefully, in the future, the surrounding communities and or private venders will start working on better ways to bring day visitors to enjoy the beach. This represents taking baby steps towards some sort of solution. This plan will be massaged over time and I would not be surprised if Sullivan’s Island does not also seek a solution of their own.
On August 21, 2014, the Isle of Palms City Council along with members of the Planning Commission met with the hired traffic engineering firm, Stantec to discuss implementing a “Managed Parking Program” To see the history of this, please go to http://www.iop.net and scroll down under the Residents section to parking improvements. Scroll down to “Reverse Chronology” and under August 21, click on the parking management program to see Stantec’s presentation. At this point, I’m glad we have something, but before doing anything further, we need to study this presentation and at the same time, inquire about the possibility of the city taking over maintenance and control of the roads and let the residents of the Isle of Palms decide of the fate of the island. The traffic we have now is nothing compared to what it will be in 5 years, or 10 years and beyond. We cannot worry about the short term but have to look long term. Whatever we do will impact the future of the island. There are a lot of questions to be answered, I do not want to go forward one step, and then have to step back two. We need to take our time and do this right the first time. As for me personally, I felt pressured to go forward with this plan. I would like to see the city hold several public forums on this before deciding. I would like to see real answers about rights of ways encroachments, I’d like to see what we can do to control parking if we took over the maintenance of the roads. We have to keep in mind the vision statement for the Isle of Palms, “Isle of Palms has developed into a premier barrier island residential community with a variety of housing styles, commercial uses, and recreational facilities. Despite the extensive development of the island, the natural resources that make the Isle of Palms such a wonderful place to live and visit remain intact and in good condition. Measures that will enhance the existing character of the island as a quality place to live, and protect the environment both on and around the island, must be taken to guide the development and preserve the quality of life for generations to come.” January 31, 2002
Thursday, August 21, 2014 at the Isle of Palms City Hall, starting at 5:30, there will be a special meeting between the IOP City Council, the members of the Planning Commission and our hired traffic engineers, Stantec to discuss where we are today about possible solutions to help alleviate the pressure of day visitors on the residents of the island. While this is a public meeting, questions will be between the parties mentioned above, so please, if you have any special questions you would like answered, contact a member of the Isle of Palms City Council and ask them to present the questions. Go to http://www.iop.net to get the contact information for each member of council. While there, on the home page, look under Residents’ tab, and look at parking improvements to see what has been done over the last few years under reverse chronology. The direction the city has been leaning towards is an annual parking pass system but recently, several council members, including myself, have questioned the city about our taking over control of the roads and rights of ways to control parking and protect our neighborhoods. Can the city do this? At what cost? Could a parking pass system better achieve this? Do all right of way encroachments have to be removed to open up all roads and rights of ways to allow annual pass parking? Could we have special neighborhood districts that restrict parking to residents? Get involved, come listen, get your questions answered. Whatever the IOP does, it will impact everyone across the tri county. Is it fair for IOP property owners to have to police, protect, clean up, and pay for all the services day visitors cost the city? We all believe in public beach access and will continue this, but more importantly, we need to preserve our natural resource for our children and for future generations. Please let others know about this.
Tomorrow, while enjoying family activities, walk down to the beach and watch the 5th Annual Coastal Flyover Saluting our Military. Wear your red, white, and blue while waving America’s flag, if not show more American pride however you see fit. There will be 3 sets of vintage planes flying from Cherry Grove with an estimated time along the Isle of Palms starting around 1:35 PM. Get there a few minutes early just in case. Enjoy, be safe, and Happy Birthday America!