Hundreds sign online petition against Carolina Beach year-round paid parking

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — When Carolina Beach Town Council voted 3-2 in favor of year-round paid parking last week, the reaction to the new was almost immediate, with many people being strongly against the decision.

Those people are now coming together to oppose the vote, with more than 1,000 people and counting adding their names and thoughts to an online petition. 

“I’ve just been reading comments, and they are also like negative comments towards the subject,” petition signer Hannah Weaver said.

Weaver is one of the numerous petition signers and says she wanted to add her name because she’s afraid year-round paid parking will further hurt businesses still struggling to recover from the pandemic.

“I’ve had many conversations with local restaurant owners and business owners who are still trying to pick up their volumes from that,” Weaver said.

Weaver says she enjoys visiting Carolina Beach during the less-busy months, but may think twice about it if off season paid parking goes into effect as planned next fall.

“I’m not always going to have money to be able to park, and that is going to take away from that,” Weaver added.

Weaver says many of her friends share her frustration, and is hopeful the petition will be enough to convince town council to rethink their decision.

“They should have known that from the get-go that it wasn’t going to be a good decision,” Weaver said. “But I hope now that they really will have the clarity for that.”

We reached out for comment to the 3 council members who voted in favor of paid parking — Jay Healy, Steve Shuttleworth and Lynn Barbee.

We received no response from Healy. Shuttleworth declined our request for an interview. Barbee issued the following statement: “Carolina Beach is making significant changes to our parking program with the stated goal of providing a consistent guest experience to our visitors and increase our competitiveness with our private parking vendors as well as other beach towns in southeastern NC. There are more changes to come.  It is my belief that our visitors will be pleased with the final product.”

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