Image by flickr user jurvetsonImage by 20080724surfing.jpg If surfers could get waves like these here, they'd probably have no problem paying $8 a day to the meters.
Folly Beach City Council approved Tuesday a smaller zone just for swimmers at the beach, and lifeguards now have more authority to enforce the rules. Basically, the ordinance narrows the no-surfing zone in the hopes that the smaller zone will be easier to keep watch over. Those who violate the rules could face a $500 fine or be arrested.
The story doesn't mention where the new swim-only zone actually is, but if it's based on the proposal brought forth back in January, it would run from 3rd Street West to 2nd Street East:
[gmap markers=blue::32.65274502172082,-79.9445915222168:Zone limits + 32.65538267971025,-79.93789672851562:Zone limits |markers=green::32.65466004142515,-79.94025707244873:Folly Beach Pier |zoom=15 |center=32.655888523034356,-79.9414587020874 |width=470px |height=250px |control=Small |type=Map]
Green marker is Folly Beach Pier. Blue markers are the boundaries of the swim zone.
From ABC News 4:
"Surfers and lifeguards traditionally have not gotten along but there's really no reason for that. If we can give them their own zoning area, the smaller area swimming only and no surfing, would be much easier to enforce," said Charleston County Parks and Recreation's Safety Program Assistant Manager, John VonRonsenberg.
"The no surf zone used to be between 7th Street West and 6th Street East which is much wider then it will be under this ordinance," said Folly Beach Council member, Laura Beck.
The surf zone will be enforced in season from May 15 - September 15 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
This comes on the heels of Folly Beach's stepped-up enforcement of a state law that demands no surfing within 200 feet of the Folly Beach Pier. The recent arrest of two surfers there has caused quite a stir, though some argue it's just a safety issue.
From Charleston City Paper:
Paid parking is a relatively new concept on Folly Beach. Surfing alongside the pier is not; it's been illegal within 200 feet of the structure since it was built. Still, the arrest of two surfers at the pier in recent months has earned the ire of many in the surfing community.
A Facebook page titled "Obese Folly Beach Cops suck. Finn Dennis [one of the arrested surfers] is Innocent!!" has garnered 439 members. In the group's description it encourages surfers to "kindly find a new home for your old gum" in the beach's parking meters — jamming them — and on police car windshields. And some have responded to the call.
So surfers will now have more space to use, under the new Folly ordinance, though whether the waves are worth it is a good question. And really, one of the major reasons for the recent animosity has little to do with surfing at the pier, but last year's institution of paid parking on some parts of the beach, including the Washout. In response to that, Folly Beach is considering a year-round parking pass for $250 or so, but fears of revenue losses (the meters can pull in about $3,000 a year) may doom the proposal.