January 27, 2006

Paying for parking

One of the big differences between Dare County and some of the southern beach areas ia the vast amount of free beach access found throughout Dare County (except in Southern Shores and Duck). That is not as true in places like Wrightsville Beach were parking is at apremium and most public lots have parking meters. These same southern towns have large mainland communities just west of them, often in the same county (taxing district) that have citizens that want to go to the beach. Here is some backlash, note the beach nourishment access issue raised at the end.

Beach parking

Wilmington Star (1/26/05)
EDITOR: The headline to your Jan. 11 piece "Tourists to pay more?" does not represent the full impact of Wrightsville Beach's addiction to ever-increasing parking fees. These increases affect all New Hanover County residents wishing to visit Wrightsville Beach. The increases affect tourists staying in Wilmington wishing to visit the beach. But they have no impact on those visitors patronizing the island's home rentals, condominiums and hotels, who by and large provide free parking to their tourists. A reasonable fee to cover the cost of day-trippers' added expense to the town's operation is certainly justified. Higher fees could be warranted if Wrightsville Beach wanted to create a fund to increase parking, add public facilities, or other enhancements for those wanting to spend the day at the beach. To increase parking fees to keep property taxes down when they're already pay the lowest rates in the county is wrong. The millions of state and federal dollars spent to renourish Wrightsville Beach are provided with the understanding that a certain amount of public access is maintained. ... (To) the residents of Wilmington and other visitors: "Welcome to Wrightsville Beach, now go home. P.S. Thanks for the sand." - Charles Carver, Wilmington

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