Sabra Stutz, owner of Old Town bridal boutique Chicas, is fed up with standing in the pouring rain to save a parking space so a bride-to-be's new wedding dress doesn't get drenched.
So fed up, in fact, she is moving her business from Blufton's Promenade Street to a new space on Sherington Drive, where there is plenty of customer parking.
"If it is raining hard, we've had customers call ahead so we can save them a (parking) space right out front," Stutz said Friday. "If you just got a wedding dress or tux, you don't want it to get soaked if you have to park blocks away. In other parts (of Bluffton), you don't have those issues."
Businesses aren't the only ones affected by a lack of parking.
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Residents of the area are looking to the town for solutions as well.
Promenade Street resident Jerry Law said he regularly spends 10 minutes circling his block in search of an empty space.
"It's been like I'm doing NASCAR laps around the property, just making left turn after left turn trying to find parking. We just want something to get done."
Town officials know that.
A plan to add between 70 and 100 new spaces along Dr. Mellichamp Drive began taking shape earlier this summer.
But there is no timetable for when that will happen.
The parking plan is still "in the idea stage," town spokeswoman Debbie Szpanka said in an email earlier this week.
Councilman Ted Huffman, who owns Bluffton BBQ in the Promenade, knows first-hand how tough it can be to find parking in the area.
"We've always had a lack of parking in Old Town," he said. "People want to be able to park right in front of where they want to go, and you just can't do that a lot of the time."
Huffman said the plan to add spaces has been slow to materialize because Dr. Millechamp Drive is a state-owned roadway.
"The town has been working with (S.C. Department of Transportation) and we got approval to get additional parking," he said. "But the wheels of government turn slowly."
The town is also conducting a study of the Calhoun Street area, which will include a look at parking. Town officials are awaiting the results of that study before acting in Old Town.
The town must also find the money to pay for the new spaces.
"There are infrastructure (improvements) involved," Huffman said. "And that's a funding issue more than anything."
Despite the challenges, he said Old Town parking "is something we need to get serious about."
Huffman, who is running for re-election this year, isn't the only town council candidate concerned about parking.
Jim Sims, who jumped into the race Friday, said, "We do all kinds of development and we have no parking. It just doesn't make any sense. I've gone to (restaurants in Old Town) a few times and had to leave because I couldn't find anywhere (to park)."
Town council candidate and Old Town resident Michael Spears suggested the town convert existing parallel parking spaces into angled spaces.
"That's a way to (add spaces) quickly, efficiently, and for not much money," he said.
In the past, town officials have considered building a public parking garage in the historic district.
But Huffman said he doesn't anticipate that happening anytime soon, if at all.
"The town doesn't want to be in the parking garage business," he said.
Instead, Huffman said the town should consider building a lot for Promenade employees so customers have more access to on-street parking spaces.
He acknowledges that idea comes with its own challenges, namely ensuring employees can safely make it to their cars at night.
"If you have (employees) leaving (their businesses) carrying money at the end of the day, you don't want them to be a target," he said. "But maybe the merchants can get together and start an escort program to make sure they get to their cars safely."
Follow reporter Lucas High on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Lucas.