Beaufort News

City lowers some hourly parking charges

Beginning Friday, some hourly parking rates and time limits throughout downtown Beaufort will change to give drivers cheaper prices and more time the further they park from Bay Street.

Beaufort City Council gave final approval Tuesday to the changes, which also include increasing the time limit along Bay Street from two to three hours. Rates previously were $1 an hour throughout the city. The new rates range from .50 to $1, depending on the parking location.

Some people thanked council after the vote for listening to merchant and customer concerns that poured in after the city switched to a new parking system in July that included electronic paystations, new rates and new time limits.

"You're definitely listening and definitely taking steps forward," said Robert Bowden, who works downtown and whose wife owns a store on Bay Street.

Many, including Lanier Parking Solutions, which manages the system, also have called for the city to dig up the not-so-popular paystations and revert to coin-operated meters along Bay Street.

Council will hold a special meeting before its regularly scheduled workshop Tuesday to hear a final vote on removing the paystations from Bay Street and relocating them in other areas of the city, Mayor Billy Keyserling said Tuesday.

In other action, council:

  • Gave final approval to create the "Bladen Street Redevelopment District" and rezone nine properties in the area under the new designation.
  • Held a public hearing on a request to rezone 500 Wilmington St. from a general residential to office commercial district. The applicant has said she wants to do short-term rentals -- those 30 days or less -- at the home on the property, which would require a commercial zoning designation. One person spoke against the request Tuesday, saying a majority of neighbors in the area want the property to remain residential.
  • Appointed councilman Mike McFee and reappointed Michael McNally, Martin Goodman and Ed Barnhart to city's Redevelopment Commission.
  • Appointed Marianne Norton to the Historic District Review Board.
  • Approved a budget amendment to spend about $706,500 on fire and public works equipment.
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