The Oak Island town council members discussed paid parking at an annual council retreat. STARNEWS FILE PHOTO

NC - Oak Island becomes latest beach town to discuss paid parking

As locals and tourists head to some Wilmington-area beaches this summer, they will be paying for parking for the first time.

Over the last month, several coastal towns have voted to implement paid parking.

Kure Beach - the only town in New Hanover County without paid parking - voted to move forward with a paid parking proposal at a Feb. 1 meeting. North Topsail Beach announced on Jan. 28 they would begin a paid parking program in March while Surf City approved paid parking on Feb. 19. In Carolina Beach, paid parking will start earlier than usual this year (March 1 through Oct. 31).

Carolina Beach paid parking: Paid parking in Carolina Beach to start earlier this year

Kure Beach paid parking: No more free parking? Kure Beach casts their vote on paid parking proposal.

Surf City paid parking: Pay to park? Surf City officials continue contentious debate

Other local towns are watching. Oak Island Town Manager David Kelly brought up the issue at the town council's annual retreat earlier this month. The town previously considered the measure in 2019 when the town council approved paid parking before reversing course.

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