Lawsuit filed to fight South Padre Island parking ordinance

According to Eduardo Cantu, a disabled rights activist, he says the town's restrictive parking ordinance is making it hard for people like him to enjoy the shores of South Padre Island...

That's why he's filed suit in hopes he can soon enjoy the sand and waves without restrictions.

Its the crown jewel of the Rio Grande valley, South Padre Island.

A tourist and local attraction for many, but for people like Eduardo Cantu, enjoying a day on the beach during summer peak months could be a thing of the past.

As a person with a disabilities you know that's still something i still enjoy and you know would like to continue to have that right, says Eduardo

But this ordinance is making it difficult.

Through March 1st through September 15th there is no parking without permits along Gulf Boulevard.

Also you cannot grill in certain areas, which is something that most visitors do while visiting.

This really goes at the heart of the people of being restrictive of attending of you know of valley jewel or valley vacation spot that is going to be prohibited, adds Cantu

Local business owner Connie Mitchell believes this ordinance-- which she says appears to be targeted towards a certain group of people, could deter tourists from heading to South Padre Island.

"They come down here, friends, family. No one has a place to park and everyone gets to leave with a citation. This is going to deter these people from coming back, they're not going to come back, says Connie

And furthermore Mitchell says it TMs a safety liability.

"This is really becoming a safety issue because all of these people are being forced on foot or to transit from other locations. They're having to carry their wheelchairs, their children, their fishing poles, across a busy highway just to make it to the beach, says Mitchell

So for the sake of business and tourism, both sides say a change needs to be made.

"We've got a big unwelcome sign out there and it projects to these folks that we just don't want them here, adds Connie.