Beaufort News

Point neighborhood could get parking relief

  • Beaufort's Redevelopment Commission recommended Thursday the city move forward with a residential parking program in parts of the historic Point neighborhood to keep downtown employees and other non-residents from parking in front of houses for long stretches on weekdays.
  • The plan submitted for the commission's review proposes resident-only parking along Port Republic Street from Carteret to New streets and along the 200, 300 and 400 blocks of New Street.

    Parking in those areas would be reserved for residents only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and monitored by Lanier Parking Solutions, also known as Park Beaufort, which enforces downtown parking.

    City Council must approve the plan before it could take effect, officials said.

    Paul Michau, president of the Point's neighborhood association, said the proposal also addresses safety concerns and would help ensure emergency vehicles have enough room to pass easily.

    Residents would display city-issued decals in their car windows and have guest permits for visitors to use.

    The Point's neighborhood association executive committee conducted a survey earlier this year regarding resident-only parking. About 58 percent of those who responded were not in favor of a parking program, Michau has said.

    However residents along Port Republic and New streets -- where "the biggest parking problems exist" -- wanted to proceed, according to an application submitted to the city by residents of those streets.

    "We wanted to start where the immediate problem is," resident DeWitt Helm said during the meeting.

    As designed, the program could be adopted on a street-by-street basis if requested by property owners along other corridors, Michau said

    Solicitations for neighborhood-level parking plans came after the city of Beaufort introduced a new downtown parking system in its commercial district late last year.

    Officials acknowledged that the increased hourly parking rates and higher level of enforcement could push some parking out into nearby neighborhoods.