GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

Beach parking fees on Mayor Sanders’ agenda?

Posted by George J Janczyn on March 4, 2010

At yesterday’s San Carlos Area Council meeting, President John Pilch said that Mayor Sanders recently attended a Past Grand Juror’s Association luncheon and wanted to know how many people support paid parking at the beach. Mr. Pilch asked for a show of hands in this meeting as well. This stimulated a few questions and a little discussion.

One outspoken individual, who said he was born and raised in Ocean Beach and owns commercial property there, said that he had suggested the fee. He said in a community he saw in Virginia with a beach parking fee “the beach is clear, the homeless folk are not all over the place…like, just simply walk down to the foot of Newport in Ocean Beach and you can’t sling a dead cat without hitting some homeless folks and panhandlers and all that sort of stuff.”

A woman then asked him, “Just how would charging a fee change the homeless population?”

The man continued, “Well, also they clean the beach, police the beach, they hire college students during the summer, they clean the area up, there’s a greater security presence, it prevents people from parking their motor homes there, from sleeping there, we could buy fire rings.”

People wanted more details. Mr. Pilch said the basic idea is to install parking meters at the beaches, which would accept cash (paper or coin), credit card, or parking card. One idea for the fee would be between $5-8, whether you stay the whole day or not. 45% of meter revenue would go toward improvements in that community.

(I’m curious about that because my understanding was that the high-tech “pay and display” meters they’re using downtown allow the purchase of individual amounts of time)

Most people didn’t seem to like the idea of having a fixed day-use fee as opposed to hourly metering. Then people started wondering about other ways of funding things, but the president had to stop discussion because it was just an informal poll not on the agenda, and asked for a show of hands. A large majority voted no for beach parking fees.

So, I wonder what was behind the mayor bringing this up with the (old) grand jury?

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