By Michael Praats | November 8, 2020 at 9:55 AM EST – Updated November 8 at 9:55 AM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Each year, Freeman Park in Carolina Beach attracts thousands of visitors bringing in millions in revenue, and each year, after the busy season, town leaders review the previous season and decide on any changes that need to happen when it comes to running the park.
On Tuesday, Carolina Beach’s Town Council will review the challenges and successes of the past season, and will consider making changes to town ordinances.
“Every year at the end of the season the Town evaluates the successes and challenges of our parking program and Freeman Park. This year we identified several areas in three articles of the Town Code that needed to be updated to be current with our practices,” according to the Town Council agenda.
The proposed changes for the park are not really anything new, however, updating the town ordinances would provide clarity to visitors, as well as those tasked with enforcing the rules.
Four-wheel drive is a must for vehicles wanting to take a trip onto the beach, however, this is not always clear and it’s not unusual to see vehicles stuck in the sand. The proposed update would explicitly limit vehicles to four-wheel drive only.
Another one of the updates would allow the removal of vehicles by the town (or contracted companies) if they are parked in a hazardous manner. Vehicles parked in a hazardous condition can be considered ‘abandoned’ if the Town Council approves the changes.
“If a vehicle is left unattended for more than 24 continuous hours or in a manner which constitutes hazardous conditions (i.e. in the wet sand area, within 10 feet of the toe of the dune) without giving prior notification to the town police department, the vehicle shall be considered abandoned. If the vehicle is determined abandoned, it may be stored in a secured location during which time the police department shall make a reasonable effort to locate the owner,” according to the agenda.
Finally, the third update being proposed would clarify the rules for camping on the beach.
“No camping is allowed on any beaches in Carolina Beach except on Freeman Park in designated camping spaces,” the updated language would read.
An additional item on the council’s agenda will include some sort of update to the process of collecting money, selling passes, and reporting of revenue for Freeman Park. Those proposed updates were not included in the agenda, however, they will be presented to council on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
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