The Town is considering the creation of free public parking lots in the 300, 700, and 800 blocks of Ocean Blvd West, and along Avenue A. The Commissioners could vote to approve some or all of these lots at their meeting this coming Tuesday, February 16.
There will be no public hearing regarding these plans, and the only opportunity for public comment will be at the beginning of the Commissioners’ meeting related to agenda topics.
Public parking is a significant problem due to the high growth of housing and RV park developments on the mainland combined with increasingly more people who want to visit the beach. Since land on the island is limited, so is our ability to accommodate parking for all these visitors, especially during peak season holidays.
Since no parking is truly free, it is a question of who pays and who benefits, and the balance between property owner rights and accommodating day visitors. Creating a public parking lot between or across from homes in a residential area burdens the property owners and guests who have to deal with the traffic, noise, trash, porta-potties and possible trespassing if a public beach accessway is not convenient. It will also burden all taxpayers with the cost of creating and maintaining the lots going forward.
For more information, click here for a copy of the Parking Committee Meeting Packet showing the locations and costs for the planned lots. Maps begin on page 5 of the packet.
The Commissioners would like to receive your input, and we encourage you to provide it. Click here for information about how to contact the Commissioners prior to their decision. If you want your comments to be included in the official record for the meeting, you need to send them to the Town Clerk, Heather Finnell.
The HBPOA will continue to monitor and report on this important issue, recognizing how difficult it is to keep up with what is going on while the Town is closed due to the COVID emergency. As usual, we will be emailing information about the BOC meeting agenda prior to the meeting on February 16th.