Parking & Beach Improvements

Beach Access parking has been a top priority subject for the City over the past five years. A detail chronology of activities from 2008 to the present is included below. The significant activities are as follows.  

Public Input

Input from citizens at nine (9) different Public Forums, Public Hearings and Joint meetings of City Council and the Planning Commission. 

Physical Improvements

Creation of a new, permitted crosswalk at 43rd Avenue. Installation of signs to protect line-of-sight at the intersections where on-street parking is prevalent.  Installation of a bright, white chalk line on the ocean side of Palm Boulevard to reinforce the message conveyed by signage to park a safe distance from the edge of the road. 

Enforcement Improvements

Successfully pursued grant funding and implemented an increase in the number of Beach Services Officers from four (4) to six (6) to guide motorists to legal beach access parking and enforce regulations related to parking violations. 

Engineering Guidance

The procurement of professional transportation guidance to design, permit and install Wayfinding signs to guide beach visitors to available parking and to examine and develop approvable strategies to relieve and control parking impacts on residential areas of the island.  

Reverse Chronology of Activities

May 15, 2017

The 2017 Beach Parking Season begins. 

March 21, 2017

City Council approved second reading of Ordinance 2017-02. 

February 28, 2017

City Council approved First Reading of Ordinance 2017-02, which includes the proposed changes to the beach parking management plan and an amended sign plan. 

February 2, 2017

City Council held a Special Meeting to continue discussions related to the proposed changes to the beach parking management plan. 

November 1, 2016

City Council held a Special Meeting to review and discuss the feedback received from the island residents and the City's staff and discuss recommendations for the 2017 beach season. 

October 17, 2016

City Council held a Public Input Session at the Recreation Center, where residents were able to voice their concerns, comments and suggestions on the 2016 Beach Season Parking after its inaugural season.

September 15, 2016

The last date of enforcement of the 2016 Beach Season Parking Management Plan. 

May 15, 2016

The City launched the 2016 Beach Season Parking Management Plan.

January 26, 2016

City Council awards a contract to A&H Company, Inc. in the amount of $58,900 for the fabrication and installation of signs for the Managed Beach Access Parking Plan. 

December 3, 2015

The City holds a "Beach Parking Kick-Off" public meeting at the Recreation Center where citizens can get more information about the beach parking program and IOP homeowners and long term residents can apply for their residential parking permit. 

November 17, 2015

City Council approves Second Reading and ratifies Ordinance 2015-13 which authorizes Concept C of the parking implementation and enforcement for the 2016 Beach Season.

October 27, 2015

City Council approves First Reading of Ordinance Amendments to facilitate beach parking Concept C.

June 17, 2015

The City received a letter of approval from SCDOT for its Concept C parking permit plan outline.

April 21, 2015

The Ways and Means Committee of City Council votes in favor of "Concept C" which contains changes from previous concepts.

January 14, 2015

The City received a letter of approval from SCDOT for its parking permit plan outline.

November 24, 2014

The City of Isle of Palms submitted a letter and parking permit plan outline to SCDOT requesting approval.

November 14, 2014

City Council held a Special Meeting to discuss Beach Access Parking. Watch a video of the meeting below.


November 3, 2014

City Council held a Special Meeting to discuss Beach Access Parking.  Watch a video of the meeting below.

October 2, 2014

City Council held a Public Hearing regarding a proposed Beach Parking Permit Program.  Click here to read the meeting presentation. Watch a video of the meeting below.

August 21, 2014

City Council and the Planning Commission held a joint special meeting during which Stantec reported on the status of their work, presented the results of their summer 2014 data collection, and outlined potential strategies for a parking management program. Click here to view the presentation as a PDF file (10MB).

May 1, 2014:

City Council and the Planning Commission held a joint special meeting with Stantec to discuss plans for data collection and next steps in their contract work. 

February 10, 2014

Staff gave a brief update on the status of Stantec's work at the Public Safety Committee meeting.

January 31, 2014

A wayfinding sign was installed on Palm Boulevard at 46th Avenue to assist visitors to Wild Dunes.

January 13, 2014

Representatives from Stantec attending the meeting of the Public Safety Committee of City Council to report on the status of the Wayfinding sign initiative and the parking managment program.  Approved meeting minutes are available online

September 24, 2013

City Council awarded a contract to Stantec for three Tasks: 1) permit program implementation plan for $68,750, 2) on-street parking reivew for $17,560, and 3) on-street field verification for $12,970.

June 2013

Wayfinding signs were installed throughout the island.

March 26, 2013

City Council approved award of a contract to Turnkey Creative in the amount of $14,274.18 for construction and installation of Wayfinding signs.

February 26, 2013

City Council approved a change order to Stantec for sign design for municipal court and the park at 1801 Palm Boulevard in the amount of $12,450, inclusive of bid documents, bid assistance and construction management for Wayfinding signs.

February 15, 2013

SCDOT issues permit number 147369 for Citywide Wayfinding Signing – Phase 1.

August 28, 2012

City Council approves award of a contract for $18,930 to Stantec for Phase Two of the Wayfinding sign project and the initiation of a parking study on the island.

July 14, 2012

City Council approved an amount not to exceed $20,000 of budgeted funds for approximately (15) Wayfinding signs. 

June 27, 2012

Charleston County awards the City of Isle of Palms a grant in the amount of $40,000 in Accommodation Tax funds, which allows the City to increase its seasonal “Beach Services Officer” staff from four (4) to six (6). Among other duties, Beach Services Officers assist visitors with locating legal parking and enforce regulations regarding illegal parking.

April 24, 2012

City Council approved award of a contract to Stantec for consultation on Wayfinding Signs in the amount of $9,500.

March 27, 2012

City Council charged the City Administrator with locating a consultant that could assist the City with wayfinding signs to direct beach visitors to the municipal parking lots, the County Park, or the kiosk parking on Front Beach.

March 2012

The balance of signs conveying the message of “No Parking Here To Corner” were installed along Palm Boulevard in advance of the 2012 beach season.

March, April, May and June 2012

Per the joint meeting of February 20, 2012, the Committees of Council held focused discussions on a variety of topics related to parking management as put forth by the Planning Commission.

February 20, 2012

City Council and the Planning Commission held a joint meeting to discuss parking management. Read the meeting minutes. Watch the meeting video. In the meeting, Mayor Cronin made assignments to the various Committees of City Council to take up discussion regarding the Planning Commission’s recommendations. 

January 11, 2012

The Planning Commission, considering the public forum feedback, sorted their list of potential parking solutions into long-term and short-term goals.

September 20, 2011

In the alternative to issuing a Request for Qualifications for consultants for beach access parking, the Ways and Means Committee decided to ask the Planning Commission to revisit the issue of beach access parking and come up with a comprehensive plan.

August 2011

City Council directed staff to develop a Request for Qualifications to seek a consultant to make recommendations regarding beach access parking.

July 25, 2011

The City held a public hearing to receive citizen input regarding a proposed ordinance amendment to execute one of the strategies discussed as a potential parking solution. Read the meeting minutes.

June 6, 2011

The Ways and Means Committee of City Council holds a special meeting to review FY 12 Operating and Capital Budgets. City staff is tasked with budgeting for the implementation of potential parking solutions discussed at the joint meeting of May 11, 2011.

May 11, 2011

City Council and the Planning Commission hold a third joint meeting to discuss the four points of the Planning Commission’s parking plan which were 1) parking nodes on Ocean Boulevard, 2) parking on Palm Boulevard, 3) pay to park, and 4) restricting non-resident parking on the avenues. Read the meeting minutes. Watch the meeting video.

Spring 2011

The City begins drawing a white chalk line four feet from the pavement on Palm Boulevard to guide motorists to the safe and appropriate parking as prescribed by existing signage. The chalk line is inexpensive and successful, keeping vehicles a safe distance from the road.

Spring 2011

Based on successful implementation on Carolina Boulevard, the City orders signage conveying the message “No Parking Here To Corner” for Carolina Boulevard and a long stretch of Palm Boulevard to prevent vehicles from parking close to corners and inhibiting line-of-sight.

March 9, 2011

The minutes of the Planning Commission regular meeting of this date include several exhibits that summarize the comments received at the public parking forum.

February 23, 2011

The Planning Commission holds a public forum to solicit input from residents regarding the parking discussions that have been taking place within the Planning Commission and City Council.

October 19, 2010

A second special, joint meeting was held between City Council and the Planning Commission to continue discussions on their parking plan. Read the meeting minutes.

July 2010

City Council and the Planning Commission held a special, joint meeting to present the parking plan developed by the Commission to the policy setting body. The meeting covered a wide range of issues related to parking. Read the meeting minutes.

December 9, 2009

The Planning Commission hosted the Police Chief at its regular meeting to discuss parking issues.

October 27, 2009

City Council authorized the City Administrator to pursue installation of a crosswalk on Palm Boulevard at 43rd Avenue.

September 22, 2009

City Council held a public hearing to receive citizen input on Ordinance 2009-12 to Amend the Comprehensive Plan for the City, which included two knew elements, one of which was transportation.

August 2009 through August 2010

Planning Commission discusses a parking plan at its regular meetings.

May 5, 2009

The Real Property Committee of City Council received statistical information collected by an engineering class of Citadel cadets who had taken as a class project the evaluation of parking at the City-owned Isle of Palms Marina.

April 2, 2009

Police Chief Buckhannon reported to the Public Safety Committee that he was in receipt of a letter from SCDOT authorizing two (2) hour parking on 25th Avenue along Waterway Boulevard. 

March 12, 2009

City Administrator Tucker reported to the Public Safety Committee regarding a letter the City received from SCDOT as a result of the City’s query about bicycle paths on Palm Boulevard from 21st Avenue to 41st Avenue. The letter confirmed an existing 100-foot right-of-way and SCDOT’s support for the City’s efforts to determine feasibility, which has not been done to date by SCDOT.

January 28, 2009

City Council awarded a contract for management of the municipal parking lots to Schupp Enterprises for years 2009 – 2012.

September 10, 2008

As part of its ongoing review of the Comprehensive Plan, the Planning Commission decides that a synopsis of the parking issue and strategy for addressing it should be added to the to the Transportation Element of the Plan.

September 8, 2008

In preparation to issue a request for bids for management of the municipal parking lots near the Front Beach, the Real Property Committee of City Council interviews the current contractor on historical practices. Comparative statistics regarding parking in the County Park were also obtained to inform this discussion.

June 11, 2008

The Public Safety Committee approved improvements for golf cart parking at 23rd and 25th Avenue.

May 14, 2008

The Public Safety Committee of City Council discusses various, localized issues related to parking on the island near the Sea Cabins, near 25th Avenue, and concerning golf carts. Concerns that come forward from citizens or that are observed by Councilmembers and City staff receive due diligence in the form of evaluation, public discussion, and consideration if any action is warranted.

April 9, 2008

The Planning Commission regular meeting is attended by Mark Nesbit of SCDOT. The Commission queried Mr. Nesbit regarding the City’s ability to regulate parking on state-owned roads. Mr. Nesbit stated that SCDOT would only approve parking limitations that were necessary to improve safety or provide access to individuals’ properties.

February 26, 2008

The City receives a Community Development Block Grant from Charleston County in the amount of $20,000 to improve access to the beach for physically challenged individuals. City Council awards a contract to Henley’s Construction in the amount of $86,900 to replace the 21st Avenue Beach Access. Construction was completed for the 2008 beach season on an improved and ADA compliant access.

February 26, 2008

City Council approved the Local Comprehensive Beach Management Plan for submission to SCDHEC OCRM. The plan “serves as a repository of public beach access and parking information” (p. 37).  According to the plan, “the number and distribution of public access points are excellent, and sufficient access facilities and parking exist to classify 69% of the Isle of Palms beach as having full and complete access per the state guidelines” (p. 40).

February 13, 2008

As part of recent workshops with business owners in commercial districts and in preparation for an upcoming Comprehensive Plan Review, the Planning Commission discusses parking issues related to the Front Beach area.

A sandy path leading to the beach.