Horry County discusses free beach parking

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City, county officials discussing free beach parking (Photo: WPDE)

Almost three months into the new Myrtle Beach city administration, some say little progress has been achieved on a prime focus for Horry County residents: Free parking at the city’s beaches.

“We’re blessed with beautiful beaches, and everyone wants to go to them,” Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus said. “So we’re going to work hard on that.”

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Lazarus and Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said work is, in fact, underway.

The two met to discuss possible compromises earlier this week.

“I think we had a good meeting, in which some options and ideas were shared, which is a good start,” Bethune said. “We mutually agreed to meet again soon.”

Bethune wasn’t willing to share details of those ideas, but Lazarus floated the possibility of a parking authority to manage beach access for county residents.

The authority would be responsible for buying parking lots close to the beach for county residents to use, possibly with a decal program.

“We don’t need a Band-Aid fix,” Lazarus explained. “We need an overall fix that can carry us into the future.”