Anyone who camps without a reservation or outside the designated camping area on Freeman Park on the north end of Carolina Beach could be subject to a $50 fine.
Carolina Beach Town Council will host a public hearing on the proposed $50 fine at 7 p.m. May 12 at Town Hall, 1121 N. Lake Park Blvd., before voting on whether to enact the fine as the busy tourist season approaches.
The new camping restrictions, which took effect April 1, were approved by council in February. Anyone who wishes to camp overnight–whether in a tent or in a vehicle–on the vehicle-accessible beach must reserve a designated camping space on the town’s online reservation site.
“We’ve had multiple discussions about this over the past three or four months about this,” Carolina Beach Town Manager Michael Cramer said, adding that council voted to regulate camping on Freeman Park last November.
Reservations are required only for overnight campers, according to Cramer. The $10 reservation fee will be in place throughout the tourist season until Sept. 30. Reservations will be on a “first-come, first-serve basis,” Cramer said.
Campers can reserve a campsite based on location or availability per date. Campsites are divided into three zones, and campers select their desired zone and camping space when reserving a campsite. The designated campsites are along the dune line but are subject to change to account for seasonal high tides or other events, Cramer said.
From Oct. 1 through March 31, camping will be allowed “anywhere on the beach” without a reservation or fee, Cramer said. Day visitors can still set up tents, sunshades and canopies on the beach strand, but they must be removed before 11 p.m. each night.
The $10 fee is in addition to park access passes, which range from $30 a day–$50 for holidays–to $150 year, will still be required to access Freeman Park.
Call (910) 458-4614 for more information or for questions about the new reservation system.