CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Carolina Beach town staff has closed a portion of Freeman Park to cars and trucks. They say at certain parts of the day it is too dangerous.
Closures that are in effect are mostly for that car and truck traffic according to interim town manager Ed Parvin. He says the strand past zone four in the campground is closed to traffic.
Now town leaders have a decision before them some say is a first in the town government’s history.
“This is, in a position of members of council who have been here longer, this is sort of a first,” said town Mayor Joe Benson echoing council members like Steve Shuttleworth. “The challenges for access.”
Those challenges are not only due to traffic according to the town, but mother nature.
“Getting out beyond zone 12 which is just before you get to the northern end and swinging towards the inlet is virtually impossible,” said Benson.
Parvin informed town leaders at their workshop that erosion has pinched the pinchpoint – making it unsafe at certain tides. Jan Weissbeck and her husband noticed the overcrowding first hand this past weekend.
“When I saw how crowded it was, obviously it was becoming a safety hazard,” said Jan. “It’s gone from pristine to a trash heap now,” added her husband Barry.
Town staff proposed suspending any more day passes after Thursday, prohibiting camping after the south end zone 1 is filled and closing vehicular traffic deeper into the park. Town leaders did not make a decision on these recommendations. They said a lot of impacts would be felt if they go with some of those suggestions. Neighbors requested the town look at refunds if some of the restrictions happen.
“We signaled our favor for refunds we on council what I noticed at least was a quorum of us,” said Benson.
Either way, town leaders do understand that restrictions will come either by them or by the environment. Town leaders may vote on restrictions at their next regular meeting on July 9.