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Brunswick County is known for its beautiful beaches.
In fact, these beaches play a vital role in our economy. From lodging and meals to entertainment and other services, the county’s beaches keep our economy fluid, even in difficult financial times such as these.
Sunset Beach is now facing an issue that could alter the very fabric of beach life there. How and where will residents and beach visitors park on the island?
Town councilors and citizens alike are concerned about what may happen with parking and traffic now the new high-rise bridge is open. Many estimate more people will come to the island and so the looming question is, where will everyone park?
Because of this, the town has a parking committee that has been working to come up with viable parking solutions for residents and visitors. A number of ideas have been tossed around and many members of the Sunset Beach community have spoken out about how they think the parking issue should be addressed.
The parking committee and ultimately the town council have a gigantic task at hand. How will they keep residents happy while still ensuring Sunset Beach is a vacation attraction that draws not only weeklong vacation renters, but also day-trippers to its beautiful coastline?
We understand residents’ concerns about whether some parking options might impact their property values, but it’s important to remember this—Brunswick County beaches are public beaches. Because they are public beaches, they allow communities like Sunset Beach to be destination locations. That, in turn, benefits homeowners by ensuring their property values remain high.
The answer is not to close the door on visitors. The answer is to find a parking solution that meets the needs of both residents and visitors.
Sunset Beach cannot exclude visitors from these decisions. Would Sunset Beach then become known as an unfriendly beach? We’re sure no town official—nor most of its residents—wants that.
The reality is the town council is going to have to make decisions that benefit all involved. Safety for all should be the most pressing concern, followed by fairness and accessibility.
That’s no small task and it’s one that will continue to need a lot of community feedback, but ultimately—and hopefully before tourist season gets in full swing come Easter—a decision will be made.
If you haven’t spoken out about the issue yet, let Sunset Beach Town Council know. Whether you’re a resident, a vacationer or a Brunswick County resident who enjoys a periodic trip to Sunset’s soft, sandy beaches, speak out.
Find a way to make parking accessible, fair and affordable to all who love to visit our beautiful coast.