Sunset Beach visitors burning mad over new umbrella law - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Sunset Beach visitors burning mad over new umbrella law

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The law, enacted in March 2014, requires that all umbrellas or cabanas be taken down when the wind is blowing stronger than 17 miles per hour or violators could face a $75 fine. (Source: WECT) The law, enacted in March 2014, requires that all umbrellas or cabanas be taken down when the wind is blowing stronger than 17 miles per hour or violators could face a $75 fine. (Source: WECT)
Now that enforcement is underway, some families say they're thinking about taking their tourist dollars to another place. (Source: WECT) Now that enforcement is underway, some families say they're thinking about taking their tourist dollars to another place. (Source: WECT)
SUNSET BEACH, NC (WECT) -

A new rule about shading devices on the sand has some people burning mad in Sunset Beach, and if you plan to visit it could burn up your wallet if you're not careful.

The law, enacted in March 2014, requires that all umbrellas or cabanas be taken down when the wind is blowing stronger than 17 miles per hour or violators could face a $75 fine.

Now that enforcement is underway, some families say they're thinking about taking their tourist dollars to another place.

A trip to Sunset Beach has been a Father's Day tradition for Tim Faragher and his family for years.

"This group has been coming here for four generations," said Faragher. "We've got people from age 5 to 85."

Faragher and his extended family didn't realize the new ordinance was in place this year. He says the new rule presents a health concern for his family.

"A lot of us have had skin cancer. It's common in middle aged people. Some have had to remove some basal cells from their face or shoulders, some more extensively than others," Faragher said. "So we have to cover up at some point. You can't be out here all day without some cover."

Town leaders said the law was passed for safety reasons. Mayor Pro-Tem Lou Devita said when the winds pick up, the umbrellas become "dangerous flying objects." But some visitors aren't happy about the new rule. Faragher says they're thinking about traveling somewhere else for their next vacation.

"If you can't have shade or umbrellas, or something to keep you protected out here, then we have to rethink where you're going to go," Faragher said. "We understand there has to be reasonable restrictions but at 17 (mph), my problem is that's a daily common occurrence."

For now, Faragher says his extended family and friends will obey the rule knowing that they could face a hefty financial penalty.

Sunset Beach is one of the few beach towns in the southeast that still allows cabanas on the beach.

Ocean Isle and Myrtle Beach recently passed laws banning the four-pronged tents.

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