GARDEN CITY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County Council voted to provide paid parking along Magnolia Avenue in Garden City to address what they call safety concerns.
Horry County police say it’s due to excessive traffic, noise, and an overall safety concern caused by groups of people gathering and parking along Magnolia Avenue.
Right now, parking is free all day until 2 a.m. when parking is prohibited. Now, parking in that area wouldn’t be free from 7 p.m. – 2 a.m.
“This is for that tourism crowd to give them an opportunity to have parking, to enjoy garden city as it was meant to be rather than be a congregation place,” said Gregory Hutchins, South Precinct Captain for Horry County Police Department.
Hutchins said he’s been in Garden City since 1996 and said seen it change drastically over the years.
“With tourism especially over the past few years, Garden City with it being right there on the Ocean and the Inlet…it draws a lot of people and the area doesn’t contain or have the ability for parking for everybody that is down there,” Hutchins said.
Some residents and visitors said they like the parking situation now and don’t want to see it change.
“I think it should be free just patrol it more,” said John Larry, a Garden City resident.
A visitor to Garden City, Vaughn Volious said, “Honestly I’m shocked. I think it’s sweet being able to have public parking and have access to go to the beach and be so close but having paid parking at night, I just feel like it’s going to be a hassle.”
Captain Hutchins said he anticipates this going into effect before July 4th.