Columbia County working to keep drivers from parking in business parking spots during events

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) - There are parking wars in Columbia County.

Some business owners say drivers are parking in their spots during county events so it doesn't allow room for their customers.

If you've been to a big event at Evans Towne Center Park, you know that finding a spot for your car can be tough at times.

And that's leaving some businesses a little frustrated because vehicles are taking up space in their business parking lots. Take Awaken Salon and Spa, for example.

"When there are events across the street, there's no where for them to park so they park in our parking lot, so it interrupts the space for our own clients to come in," says Grace Colon, a stylist at the salon.

We took those concerns to the county.

"Certainly we don't want to take up any spaces from businesses with an event," says County Administrator Scott Johnson.

Johnson says there's plenty of free public parking up for grabs.

"The government complex for example across the street. There are one-thousand parking spaces there. So nights and weekends, those are always available."

The county also just purchased this land right beside Evans Towne Center Park to open space for about 200 cars. Parking behind where the Plaza is being built is there, but requires walking. For that, Johnson says the county teamed up with E-Z-GO.

"We have volunteers for large events that will actually shuttle people back and forth using the golf carts to make it easier for people to get over to the park," says Johnson.

If you're a business owner who doesn't want people parking in your spaces, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office says you should get a sign like the one you see here. Once all the construction is complete, the county will have two parking decks plus additional parking at the Plaza when events are taking place. But until then...

"We'll continue to try and find solutions for parking. I think when everything is built out that will be a better situation for everybody involved."

The Columbia County Sheriff's office says business' sign needs to specify "violators will be towed at car owner's expense" otherwise, the business owner could face a lawsuit for unauthorized towing. and it's best to have a partnership with a specific towing company.


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