Town of Carolina Beach to buy part of Freeman Park, allow pedal pub


CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) –  It’s a destination for many who visit Carolina Beach and now the town may finally own a part of it. Town leaders approved to buy a part of Freeman Park at their Tuesday meeting.

Town leaders approved buying some of the land near the middle of the beach park for half a million dollars. This all comes just weeks after the fight the town and state had with land owners who had planted sea oats on the beach.

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This land was up for sale as many of the land remains private on the renowned public beach spot.

Once they own it, leaders say they want to maintain and preserve the land for public use.

“Freeman Park is a place that we want, we as in council, town government,” said town mayor Joe Benson. “People on this island want it to be maintained as publicly accessible beach and a park that people have enjoyed for many years and we want to be able to enjoy it for years to come.”

Benson said the acquisition was not in relation to the conflict with land owners and the planting. Town leaders said in the meeting they plan to use park fees to help with the purchase.

Town leaders approved several other items such as reducing the speed limit entering onto the island from 45 to 35 mph. They also approved pedal pub tours on specific parts of the beach town to operate and for riders to consume alcohol.

The council unanimously approved to allow pedal pub franchise onto Pleasure Island.
Owners cannot operate in certain residential areas nor on Dow Road and portions of Lake Park Boulevard.

“We live here we want something new and to bring something new that’s refreshing,” said co-owner Matt Hamlet. “Something that people are looking for that they do not have the opportunity to do in their home town when they come visit a different area.”

Owners Matt Hamlet and Tina Bell have to present a route to the town in April. They hope to operating before Memorial Day weekend.

Business owners and neighbors spoke in favor of the pedal pub coming to town. Council members also approved to hold a hearing on simplifying rules in food trucks set for April.