South Carolina is one of the most beautiful places in the United States to call home. However, our local weather can be extreme – high temps and thick humidity in the summer and chilly winter weather during cold months. As a local HVAC company in Isle of Palms, SC, we know how crucial it is to have a quality HVAC system in your home and experienced technicians to keep it working correctly.
With more than 35 years of serving the Lowcountry, we are proud to be an active part of our local community. As your neighbors, we are here for all of your HVAC needs, whether you need a new AC unit installed this summer or a heat pump replacement this winter. With a reliable team of NATE-certified technicians and decades of experience in our industry, no HVAC project is too big or small for us to handle.
We offer highly competitive pricing and convenient financing options for all of our clients. At the end of the day, our goal is to make it easy and affordable to live comfortably in your home all year long. We are committed to hard work, honesty, and integrity with every service we offer. If you aren’t 100% satisfied with our work, we’ll do our part to make it right.
Here are just a few of the reasons why homeowners and business owners in South Carolina trust Action Heating & Air Conditioning:
If you need a trusted AC repair company in Isle of Palms, know that our team is geared up and ready to help you today. While you browse our website, have a look at just a few of our specialties here at Action Heating & Air Conditioning:
Summers in the Lowcountry are hot, humid, and sticky. After a long day at the beach or downtown with your friends, nothing feels better than kicking back on the sofa while your air conditioning cools you off. On the other hand, nothing feels worse than walking into your home and feeling warm, stale air hit your face. Those who know, know – having your AC go out during a South Carolina summer is no joke. With time, a relatively minor inconvenience can turn into a real health problem.
In situations like these, something has probably gone wrong with your HVAC system. If your AC has stopped working in the middle of summer, it’s time to call Action Heating & Air Conditioning right away. Our team of certified HVAC professionals has years of experience repairing and servicing AC equipment. It doesn’t matter how old your unit is or what brand you bought – we have the skills to get your home comfort system up and running in no time.
Over time, condensation builds up in your AC equipment because of its cooling process. This accumulated byproduct must be drained regularly, or the increased amounts of moisture can damage your air conditioner’s components.
Refrigerant is the substance responsible for keeping your home nice and cool in the summer. When refrigerant levels drop due to a leak, it will affect your AC equipment’s ability to cool your home. If your HVAC unit isn’t blowing cold air, this could be a reason why.
This is a common AC issue in South Carolina and the U.S. in general. Sometimes this problem is fixed by switching your thermostat to “auto.” If that doesn’t work, you may have a broken thermostat or a wiring issue that needs to be addressed quickly.
It’s normal for your heater to produce a slight burning smell if it hasn’t been used in a while. However, if you are experiencing a persistent burning smell during the summer months when your air conditioning is on, it could be a serious problem. Turn off your HVAC system immediately and call our office as soon as possible so that we may send out a technician to diagnose your problem.
This fan plays an important role in your AC unit’s heat transfer process. When your air conditioning fan breaks, your AC equipment won’t be able to cool your home off in the summer when it’s needed the most.
One of our goals as a company is to provide HVAC repair services at fair and competitive prices. In addition, we want you to feel confident about investing in high-quality heating and cooling systems without having to worry a lot about the costs. We make sure to provide honest and accurate quotes and we offer a variety of financing options. We want you to get the best bang for your buck, so here are some special offers.See Our Offer
If you are experiencing any of the problems above, be sure to hire a professional contractor to fix your issues. For your safety, don’t ever try to make HVAC repairs on your own unless you are trained. When the time come to have your air conditioning system repaired, our team of licensed AC technicians will handle all of the hard work on your behalf. That way, you can stay safe and have peace of mind knowing you’re in good hands.
Your HVAC system works hard all year long. If you have gone years without much maintenance or AC repair, you probably bought a great HVAC unit. However, with constant use and even normal wear and tear, even the highest-quality HVAC systems are prone to malfunctions. Eventually, it will need to be replaced.
If you need an energy-efficient, reliable cooling system for your home or business, you have come to the right place. We have decades of experience installing new AC systems for our clients and can handle any installation project you have. As a Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer, we have the most top-rated AC systems available in South Carolina.
At Action Heating & Air Conditioning, we know that buying a new air conditioner and installing it can be a huge source of stress. But when you work with us, it doesn’t have to be that way. We have made it our mission to make the AC installation process easy and efficient for our customers. That way, they can focus more on living life and enjoying their home while we work hard on their AC install in Isle of Palms.
Whether you plan to replace a faulty air conditioning system or need a Carrier unit for your new construction home, we have got you covered. We will work with you directly to find the best fit for your home and budget. We are also happy to answer all of your AC installation questions prior to and during your initial service appointment.
Trying to figure out whether your air conditioner needs to be repaired or replaced can be a tricky decision to make. Most people have a hard time letting things go, and that includes AC units. It can be hard to know when to let go of the old and welcome in the new. To help save you time and make your decision a little easier, keep the following signs in mind. If you find yourself saying, “that sounds like my AC unit,” it might be time for a new air conditioning installation.
Your air conditioning system works very hard every day, all year long to keep your home comfy and cool. Machines that work hard year-round are going to require maintenance and ongoing services to stay operational.
As a family-owned and operated HVAC company in Isle of Palms, SC, we know better than anyone how expensive it can be to maintain an AC unit. We know that money doesn’t grow on trees. We also understand that finding last-minute resources to fix an air conditioning system can be challenging. That is why we offer extended warranties for your new or existing AC equipment. With an extended warranty from Action Heating & Air Conditioning, you benefit from repairs, replacement, and additional services covered under warranty. That way, you can enjoy your HVAC products as long as possible.
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – On Saturday, the 9th Annual Carolina Children’s Charity Cornhole Tournament and Band Blast came to the Windjammer. The annual event was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, however, many were happy to see it back on in 2021.Sonya Beale, the Executive Director for the Carolina Children’s Charity (CCC) said the day was all about local people, helping local children.The organization has been operating since 1987, focused on Lowcountry children with birth defects and or ch...
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – On Saturday, the 9th Annual Carolina Children’s Charity Cornhole Tournament and Band Blast came to the Windjammer. The annual event was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, however, many were happy to see it back on in 2021.
Sonya Beale, the Executive Director for the Carolina Children’s Charity (CCC) said the day was all about local people, helping local children.
The organization has been operating since 1987, focused on Lowcountry children with birth defects and or childhood diseases gain access to medications, equipment, lodging, and therapy. Through the years and $4.5 million, they have assisted thousands of children under the age of 18 in Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, and Berkeley County.
Beale said the organization’s assistance comes in handy with insurance gaps that are often left for children. She said, “even if a family even has really good insurance, the child might have diabetes and they might be on 9 medications, so they have quite a hefty bit of copays, so they can apply to the charity for a grant that would assist with those medication copays with that, related to that specific childhood disease.”
On Saturday, the bands that participated in the Band Blast were the Shakin’ Martinis, King Tide Rising, The Corrodatones, Bluesphere, Scotty Oliver Band, and the South Stand Band.
The Cornhole tournament also brought out some other Lowcountry favorites such as News 2’s Evening Anchor, Brendan Clark. Clark said he has been participating in the annual event for as long as it has been ongoing. He said in 2019, his team was a runner-up and they planned vengeance to win the title of 1st place.
Clark ultimately took home the title of 1st place with his cornhole partner Jeremy Kimball. While vengeance was inflicted, Clark said he was a part of the 9th annual event not for the wins but because the money raised here in the Lowcountry—stays here in the Lowcountry.
You know, when you play cornhole it is about wins and losses a lot of the time but not in this tournament. It’s really about supporting the cause. So wins and losses aren’t necessarily the most important thing, we are just out here, having a great time and supporting a great cause.Brendan Clark, News 2 Anchor, Cornhole Competitor
If you were unable to make it to the 9th Annual Carolina Children’s Charity Cornhole Tournament and Band Blast, the CCC will be hosting an Oyster Roast and Silent/Live Auction at Water Edge on October 28th.
For more on how you can apply for a grant, click here.
ISLE OF PALMS — The fight over South Carolina beach parking has taken another sharp turn after the state Department of Transportation revoked its approval of the island’s 2015 parking plan that barred nonresidents from using spaces on most streets.The barrier island across from Mount Pleasant has been the subject of intense blowback after announcing plans in 2020 to eliminate hundreds of parking spaces near the popular beach — a plan the DOT also blocked.The IOP town government already is facing a parking laws...
ISLE OF PALMS — The fight over South Carolina beach parking has taken another sharp turn after the state Department of Transportation revoked its approval of the island’s 2015 parking plan that barred nonresidents from using spaces on most streets.
The barrier island across from Mount Pleasant has been the subject of intense blowback after announcing plans in 2020 to eliminate hundreds of parking spaces near the popular beach — a plan the DOT also blocked.
The IOP town government already is facing a parking lawsuit, and statewide legislation over beach parking issues has been introduced with the IOP’s actions in mind. And now the DOT plans to take a broad look at parking plans it previously approved near public beaches.
That could include resident-only parking areas but also examining paid parking rates in places including Myrtle Beach, DOT Secretary Christy Hall told The Post and Courier.
Hall said previous state approvals of parking plans focused on traffic flow, without considering whether the plans were fair for all state residents. That was an error, she said.
Right now, Isle of Palms is the focus of the state’s attention, with Hall saying the parking rules there are potentially unconstitutional. That attention, and the plan to “revoke the full approval” of the parking plan that keeps nonresidents off neighborhood streets, prompted Isle of Palms City Council to vote unanimously Tuesday night to work with DOT on alternatives.
The decision came after a 100-minute executive session where council members discussed the issue privately with legal staff. The special meeting was held the day after the city received a letter from Hall.
“I am of the opinion that the 2015 plan has improperly designated a significant number of state-owned highway right of ways as ‘resident only parking’ potentially denying nonresidents their constitutional guaranty of equality and privilege,” Hall said in the letter to Isle of Palms officials Monday.
That’s a stark reversal of DOT’s opinion in 2015 when then-Secretary of Transportation Janet Oakley said the plan “appears to provide an excellent way for the city to address the issues of summer traffic.”
Most roads in South Carolina are state roads, and state approval is required for parking restrictions or paid parking.
A revocation of Isle of Palms’ 2015 parking plan could potentially allow nonresident parking across the island. Hall said DOT hopes to work with the city on a plan for angled parking on the land side of Palm Boulevard, which would restore some parking on the road closest to the beach.
Prior to Tuesday’s council meeting, Mayor Jimmy Carroll expressed frustration.
“They are basically cramming whatever they want down our throats,” he said. “They basically want us to come up with more parking or they will revoke our 2015 parking plan.”
Hall said she hoped to “trigger some dialogue” with Isle of Palms, and that’s what City Council agreed to Tuesday, faced with the states’ threat.
The Charleston Beach Foundation, a nonprofit group created in response to Isle of Palms’ parking restrictions in 2020, is “thrilled and appreciative” of DOT’s actions, the group said in a statement.
The group filed suit against Isle of Palms after the city in July 2020 temporarily prohibited nonresidents from using 763 parking spots, including all but 10 free parking spaces on the island. That case is pending.
Many of South Carolina’s barrier islands have struggled to manage traffic and parking during beach season as the populations of coastal areas have soared. Isle of Palms, for example, has about 4,300 residents. Mount Pleasant, which connects to the island by bridge, now has about 90,000.
“Our beaches are full in the summer and they want to cram more in there,” Carroll said. “I invite (state Sen. Larry) Grooms to come out in July and get a taste of what we are dealing with.”
Grooms, R-Bonneau, is the sponsor of legislation that would clarify the state’s existing right to regulate parking on state roads.
“We’re taking existing law, a Supreme Court decision and an Attorney General’s opinion, and wrapping it all up so that someone can point to that law,” Grooms said. “It’s making the law clear.”
He added, “No one is trying to open up all the streets on Isle of Palms for public parking.”
Hall said reviews of beach parking in other communities will follow, including a look at paid parking rates on state roadsides.
Isle of Palms raised parking meter rates by 25 percent in 2020. The city expects to collect about $1 million from parking kiosks and lots yearly, which is double the amount the city has said it spends on “beach visitor support” — parking management, beach service officers, beach cleanup, public restrooms and related capital costs.
Isle of Palms’ paid parking areas are on town-owned roads, but some beach communities do have paid parking on the sides of state roads.
“We’ve never really lifted the hood on the rates and looked at the equity issue prior to this happening with Isle of Palms,” Hall said. “I feel like we have an obligation to look at the rates that are being charged for parking in the right of way on state highways.”
She said that’s likely to include a look at rates charged in Myrtle Beach “at some point in time.”
As the clash between the island and the Transportation Department continues, highway officials are also working on a plan to improve bicycle and pedestrian access to Isle of Palms across the IOP Connector.
Carroll said the city just learned of that a week ago and he’s concerned the plan would reduce the emergency lane down the center of the bridge.
“That emergency lane is so critical, especially during the summertime,” he said.
The island and surrounding communities have encouraged ways to get to the beach that don’t require parking, including a shuttle bus from Mount Pleasant and encouraging bicycling. Carroll said any plans to improve bike and pedestrian access should focus on the north side of the bridge because it connects to sidewalks on the island.
To the public, a future plan for beach parking on Isle of Palms may as well be buried in the sand.Isle of Palms City Council members this month spent 246 minutes — or four hours and six minutes — behind closed doors receiving legal advice about how to proceed in negotiations with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, according to a review of Isle of Palms City Council meetings.In the process, Isle of Palms City Council also might have violated the state’s open meetings law, which is meant to ensure ...
To the public, a future plan for beach parking on Isle of Palms may as well be buried in the sand.
Isle of Palms City Council members this month spent 246 minutes — or four hours and six minutes — behind closed doors receiving legal advice about how to proceed in negotiations with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, according to a review of Isle of Palms City Council meetings.
In the process, Isle of Palms City Council also might have violated the state’s open meetings law, which is meant to ensure transparency in government.
Area residents, hopeful beach-goers and at least one council member say the lack of transparency is eroding public trust in how Isle of Palms is handling beach parking, as tourism season quickly approaches.
The hours council members spent in executive session this month come after the state Department of Transportation revoked its previous approval of the barrier island’s 2015 parking plan.
The plan had largely banned nonresidents from using parking spaces on most streets near coveted beach access points. A Feb. 1 letter from Transportation Secretary Christy Hall sent to the mayor and council said the barrier island’s parking rules are potentially unconstitutional.
Isle of Palms, which is located across the Intracoastal Waterway from Mount Pleasant, has become the nexus of South Carolina’s beach parking drama that has sparked debates over who deserves access to state’s public sands.
The city is facing a lawsuit over its 2020 decision to temporarily block nonresidents from using more than 750 parking spots near the beach, leaving just 10 free spaces for visitors. A state bill about beach parking was drafted by state Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Bonneau, with the barrier island’s actions in mind.
After four City Council meetings this month, local leaders have yet to openly discuss what parking options might look like, as temperatures in the Charleston area begin to tick back up and the busy summer season approaches.
Council had an opportunity to talk about the matter in detail on Tuesday, with beach parking scheduled as a public discussion item on its agenda.
Instead, council members deviated from their agenda, added previously-public items to their executive agenda and unanimously voted to go into executive session, which is held out of the public’s view.
One of those discussion items was the city’s managed beach parking plan.
South Carolina Press Association attorney Taylor Smith said it was inappropriate for Isle of Palms City Council to indicate an agenda item was going to be discussed in public and then not do so.
By law, the council should have taken a specific vote on changing the beach parking discussion item on its agenda, Smith said.
“That did not happen here,” Smith said. “The public was unable to learn what they could anticipate their public body going behind closed doors to discuss.”
Instead, the public was forced to wait.
Multiple attempts to reach Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll for comment were unsuccessful.
More than one-third of Tuesday’s City Council meeting, which lasted just shy of four hours, was spent in executive session. One council member could not hide his frustration as he prepared to enter the closed-door portion at 8:25 p.m. The meeting, held virtually, had started at 6 p.m.
“This is freakin’ ridiculous,” Councilman Ryan Buckhannon said moments before his video screen switched to black and an image of the city seal appeared on the meeting’s live-stream.
At 9:05 p.m., some 87 viewers were still watching the meeting on the city’s YouTube page. Andrea Schroder, 54, was one of them.
She has been following the issue of beach parking closely because the beach is more than a place to visit for her family.
“It grounds us. We have that to look forward to each week. People can run and scream as loud as they want to scream, throw sand, run up and down the beach and just let go,” she said.
Schroder and her husband are foster parents, and she said their family goes to the beach “weekly, if not several times a week.”
From her home in Mount Pleasant, Schroder kept the meeting’s live video playing on her cellphone as she put her kids to bed and did some laundry. She had hoped council would only be in executive session for 10 or 15 minutes.
It took 90 minutes.
“My husband and I, we were just watching and waiting — hoping they would give us something, and then we could at least know what the next steps need to be. But when they came back, it was so scripted,” Schroder said.
A motion made almost immediately after the council’s executive session — without any public discussion among council members — suggests city leaders are not throwing out their existing parking plan, despite state transportation officials’ criticism.
Councilman Randy Bell appeared to be reading the motion as he said it. “While affirming the current 2015 parking plan and subsequent amendments, we will continue to work with S.C. DOT to optimize available beach parking,” he said.
The motion received a quick second from Councilman Jimmy Ward and the mayor, who held up two fingers to signal he, too, had seconded the motion. Council then voted unanimously to adopt it without the agenda’s promised discussion.
When Schroder heard it, she had to go back and play it multiple times in the video, she said. She called it “a word salad.”
Reached by phone Wednesday to clarify what the motion meant, Bell said it was intended to uphold the city’s position that its 2015 parking plan remains “the valid ordinance” for the city.
“We affirmed the plan by a 9-0 vote that it is our plan of record. Now, that doesn’t mean we can’t add parking to it, and we are having constructive conversations with S.C. DOT about that,” Bell said.
Yet when Hall, the state transportation director, addressed City Council members Feb. 10 in a special meeting, she said the transportation department had made a mistake in approving the beach parking plan six years ago. She also said she did not believe the 2015 parking plan would be approved today.
When pressed about the confusion created by the city’s motion to keep supporting its 2015 parking plan and the rejection from transportation officials, Bell did not deny it.
“It can be very cryptic,” Bell said.
It has led to confusion and frustration this week among Charleston-area residents who watched Tuesday’s meeting thinking they would get a taste of what’s being discussed about beach parking.
“They say they’re going to work with S.C. DOT, but we haven’t heard any examples about how they want to work with them. They’re not giving us anything,” said Ellen Williams, a 47-year-old who lives in Mount Pleasant.
She watched the Isle of Palms City Council meetings this month and has grown tired of waiting for updates that never seem to come.
“It erodes the public trust in what they’re doing. I think the public deserves better communication, even if they can’t share legal counsel with the public,” Williams said.
Buckhannon, the councilman whose own frustrations were caught on a hot mic during Tuesday’s meeting, said he received multiple calls the day after the meeting. Many residents, he said, were upset.
“People want to be updated, to have a feeling of transparency and to know what’s going on. They want to know this is where the city stands, this is what we’ve done and this is what we’re doing,” Buckhannon said. “With any corporation or in any type of job, that’s the best way to operate, and I think that was taken away from the residents Tuesday night.”
He also said it wasn’t the first time a meeting took a turn from its stated agenda.
During the Feb. 10 special meeting, Buckhannon said he was under the impression that council would get to ask Hall some questions after her presentation.
“It was all the sudden moved into executive session to discuss that. I don’t get it,” Buckhannon said. “We have the secretary of transportation in front of us, which doesn’t happen very often. Why are we not afforded the opportunity to ask questions?”
In a statement provided to The State newspaper Thursday evening, Isle of Palms city administrator Desirée Fragoso said the city is working with Hall and the S.C. DOT team on “a unified strategy to optimize parking and traffic for beach visitors and residents.”
She added, “We expect to share a joint plan within the next month.”
This story was originally published February 26, 2021 8:54 AM.
There have been a number of news stories recently about the Isle of Palms, some of which paint the city and residents in a negative light. As a resident and president of a newly formed organization of homeowners and property owners on the island, I want to share our perspective.Isle of Palms has one of our state’s most treasured natural wonders — its beach. IOP is also home to a growing number of residents and visitors who are attracted to beach life and activities.As residents, we understand the rights of visitors ...
There have been a number of news stories recently about the Isle of Palms, some of which paint the city and residents in a negative light. As a resident and president of a newly formed organization of homeowners and property owners on the island, I want to share our perspective.
Isle of Palms has one of our state’s most treasured natural wonders — its beach. IOP is also home to a growing number of residents and visitors who are attracted to beach life and activities.
As residents, we understand the rights of visitors to access our beaches and we welcome visitors from across the Lowcountry, state and nation. The energy, enthusiasm and economic boost they bring is part of what makes our community great.
We were excited to see families visiting IOP for the Memorial Day holiday as we remembered heroes who gave their lives in service to our nation. It was also a respite from the controversy surrounding the way Columbia politicians have overreached and undermined the ability of IOP officials to do their most important job: keeping residents and visitors safe.
Our beaches are free and accessible. That issue has been unnecessarily confused with traffic volume and the number of vehicles parking on the island. There must be a balance between the rights and responsibilities of residents with those of visitors, and the best way to accomplish that is with a locally managed plan designed to provide safe access to our island for visitors while maintaining a safe environment for our families who live here.
One-size-fits-all Columbia mandates on localities do not work any better than one-size-fits-all mandates on states from Washington, D.C.
IOP always has been seriously committed to providing parking and beach access to visitors. You may not realize that IOP provides more than twice the number of parking spaces per mile and per public beach access point as the average South Carolina beach community.
With an average of 378 parking spaces per mile of public beach, we offer more public parking than Edisto Beach, Folly Beach, Surfside Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, to name a few.
We also take pride in the beauty of our community. Keeping the island clean is part of keeping it safe. IOP residents fund beach access trash receptacles and pickup.
Residents volunteer their time to conduct beachfront litter collection every week during the summer. They also hold neighborhood block litter pickups throughout the year.
IOP offers visitors amenities such as a recreation center, marina and two city-owned public boat ramps. The IOP Recreation Center hosts users from surrounding communities each day of every season.
Visitors use the marina, purchased by IOP residents, for their boating needs. Well-maintained public boat ramps offer families and sportsmen alike a perfect way to take advantage of the water surrounding the area.
With summer in full swing, IOP residents have formed the Barrier Island Preservation Alliance to highlight all of these things that make our community special, as well as to address the unique challenges we face. We hope other barrier islands will join us as we grow.
As always, we hope to see many of you on July Fourth. Usually, IOP residents and visitors celebrate one of our favorite holidays with an incredible display of fireworks. Unfortunately, public health considerations have forced us to cancel fireworks two years in a row.
Nevertheless, we look forward to seeing new faces on the island, whether they be locals or visitors, new residents or old friends, not only on the Fourth but every day thereafter.
Bev Miller is president and executive director of Barrier Island Preservation Alliance.
One of the earliest signs of a budding conflict over driving to a Charleston area beach was actually a missing sign.In May 1962, the repeated theft of street signs on Sullivan’s Island made headlines; more than 30 had been stolen in recent months, costing the town about $500 and causing headaches for local officials, such as Assistant Fire Chief James J. Rowland, who also painted the town’s signs.“We don’t put those signs up just to decorate the area,” he told a News and Courier reporter. “Th...
One of the earliest signs of a budding conflict over driving to a Charleston area beach was actually a missing sign.
In May 1962, the repeated theft of street signs on Sullivan’s Island made headlines; more than 30 had been stolen in recent months, costing the town about $500 and causing headaches for local officials, such as Assistant Fire Chief James J. Rowland, who also painted the town’s signs.
“We don’t put those signs up just to decorate the area,” he told a News and Courier reporter. “They are there for a specific and important purpose.” One missing sign warned of parking that blocked a beach access road. “The road,” he said, “is used to get emergency equipment to the water in case of drowning or other emergencies. To block that road could easily cost someone’s life.”
Suffice it to say the challenges around local beach access have evolved since then, but as many will discover as this Memorial Day weekend rolls around and as the weather and water get warmer, they certainly haven’t gotten any easier.
In fact, the tension between island residents and the growing number of people who drive to these communities to spend a day at the beach reached a crescendo last year, after several barrier island leaders voted to restrict access significantly as COVID-19 arrived. Those restrictions were peppered with growing tensions over where day-trippers may and may not park their cars — and how much they may be charged to park.
The dust-up even led to a new state law, sponsored by state Sen. Larry Grooms, whose district includes Mount Pleasant and some residents most upset by the new limits on access. The law, which Gov. Henry McMaster signed last week, clarifies that the S.C. Department of Transportation has the right to do what it always thought it had the right to do: namely, veto any parking restrictions island communities want to place on state-owned roads.
That strikes us as a reasonable response: It doesn’t violate the concept of Home Rule, since it applies only to roads that are owned and maintained by the state. And it ensures public access to our public beaches won’t be excessively curtailed by local regulations — at least not on state roads. Beach communities unable to get the state’s blessing on plans to restrict parking have the option of working with the Transportation Department to transfer ownership of the roads at issue.
In fact, our beach access is getting curtailed by the simple forces of supply and demand, as our region grows in residents and its appeal to visitors, increasing numbers of whom must vie for space on beaches that aren’t getting any longer or wider or more numerous. And the problem is more acute on the roads, where parking and traffic lead to significant congestion, than on the sand itself.
We’re encouraged that CARTA launched a new summer weekend shuttle bus from Mount Pleasant to the Isle of Palms today, and we’re pleased that both Mount Pleasant and the Isle of Palms agreed to chip in so the shuttle can be free — a perk that we hope will persuade more people to leave their cars at Mount Pleasant’s Towne Centre shopping area and ride the shuttle. This obviously won’t solve the problem, but every little bit helps.
Getting to and from the beach is only part of the puzzle. The beaches also regulate things as varied as alcohol, pets, hole digging, fishing, shade devices, sand fencing, sea oats, metal detecting, fireworks and thongs. It behooves both vacationers and day-trippers to do a little homework ahead of time to make their trip to the shore as enjoyable and relaxing as possible.
South Carolina’s beaches certainly enhance our quality of life. But only 10 states grew faster than we did during the past decade, and while there are 10.7% more of us today than in 2010, our shoreline hasn’t changed much at all. So we need more planning and forethought about as how best to share these special places.