Judge Rules in Favor of the City - Charleston Beach Foundation v. IOP

On Thursday, March 2, 2023, Judge Roger Young ruled in favor of the City in the claim brought by the Charleston Beach Foundation LLC, f/k/a Charleston Area Public Beach Access and Parking Group against the City of Isle of Palms. The City prevailed on all claims presented in the lawsuit. Read the Final Order. 

In the summer 2020, the Charleston Beach Foundation filed a complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction against the City for the temporary parking restrictions that were implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The complaint argued that the City had violated FOIA and equal protection. 

The motion for preliminary injunction was heard in August 2020 by Judge Griffin, who did not grant the request. According to the judge’s order, the City properly followed FOIA regulations as required for emergency meetings. City Council also acted within its authority to regulate parking (per State/Case Law and the Governor’s Executive Order) and to pass special emergency ordinances to address public emergencies. The Emergency Ordinance that restricted parking on Palm Boulevard was not found to violate equal protection and the plaintiffs also failed to prove that the emergency parking restrictions caused them irreparable harm since the beach was not closed and parking was still available to non-residents.

In May 2021, the Charleston Beach Foundation amended their lawsuit to include a complaint over “excessive parking fines.”