By Stefanie Bainum
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCIV) – It's the case of the disappearing signs on Isle of Palms.
On 8th Avenue, a number of ‘no parking' signs on the west side of the street went missing. City officials put up new signs around Friday afternoon. Officials said they discovered that the signs were missing earlier this week. In their place, they found un-official ‘no parking' signs. They have since been taken down.
But the signs confused some beach-goers this week, like the Hobin family from North Carolina.
"We've visited Isle of Palms once before and we've parked up closer to right where you come in the county park, and my family living here said, ‘Oh no you don't have to park there you can come here, you can find parking without having to pay to park'," said Alice Hobin, an Isle of Palms visitor.
She pulled onto 8th Avenue to park, but didn't know what to do.
"We were very curious to which side of the road we could park on," Hobin said. "There are signs near the end of the street, but there are no signs that say you can't park in the middle of the street, so we are chancing it, winging it."
Chief Thomas Buckhannon of the Isle of Palms Police Department said signs going missing on the island are nothing new.
"That's one of the things that living at the beach, people take the signs down so they can create extra parking, they move signs so they can restrict parking further," Buckhannon said.
"There is plenty of public parking. The City has gone to great lengths to make this commercial area, a commercial district between 10th and 14th avenues, there is over 600 spaces in this area to park."
An 8th Avenue Isle of Palms homeowner said he was concerned about the safety issue the missing signs create. He said it makes it harder for emergency vehicles to access residential streets with all the illegal parking.
Chief Buckhannon said that the Isle of Palms City Council is currently considering new restrictions on parking. One option being considered is a required $65 dollar seasonal parking pass for those who want to park outside the commercial area.