Officials, community discuss proposed tent ban on Hilton Head Is - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Officials, community discuss proposed tent ban on Hilton Head Island beaches

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) -

Officials are meeting with members of the community to discuss ordinances that could ban tents and canopies on Hilton Head Island beaches.

After an increase in complaints that the tents have become a public nuisance, officials decided to hold a public forum Tuesday evening.

“If someone is going to be irresponsible, and not clean up after themselves, I can understand why the city would want to ban them. I would think most people would clean up after themselves and not leave their expensive equipment to be thrown away,” said Ann Deames, beachgoer.

Beachgoers abandoning their tents is what’s causing a headache for the lifeguards and residents. Now council is considering an ordinance that could regulate, or even ban tents, canopies, and umbrellas on the beach.

Many beachgoers don’t like the idea.

“I’ve come down here every year for the last 15 years. I enjoy sitting out on the beach but I burn quite easily so I enjoy sitting under the umbrella,” said Dan Coughlin, beachgoer.

“For us, we have a high risk of melanoma in our family and so getting sun protection is of the top of our concern when we come out to the beach. I think if you ban that, it puts the pressure on the family to decide if they can afford to rent a tent versus not going out to the beach,” said Ashley Chadha, beachgoer.

And if the town does ban the equipment, some said they’d think twice about visiting Hilton Head.

“I’d either have to think about vacationing someplace else, or I guess you can’t even sit up on the deck there because there’s no umbrellas on the deck. So yea, I would think about going elsewhere,” said Coughlin.

“I’d reconsider coming to the beach, absolutely. We need the flexibility to set up a tent to have safety and to have an opportunity for our kids to get out of the sun,” said Chadha.

The town will decide what steps it’ll take after they get input from the public.

Hilton Head isn’t the only town with tent issues. Last year, three beaches in the Myrtle Beach area banned tents and certain umbrellas on its beaches. 

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