City Council Proposes Charging for Beach Parking

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In an effort to raise more money for the city, the San Diego City Council has reconsidered the idea of charging beach-goers for parking, according to a report released Wednesday by the city’s independent budget analyst.

The new budget is approximately $18.6 million less than the 2011 fiscal year adopted budget, with a total of $193.2 million.

The document included a list of spending cuts and revenue increases that members of the council had suggested in order to help with the long-range effect of the budget cuts. The first suggestion proposed the city “charge for parking at our beaches, bays and regional parks.” Other listed items included exploring tax earned from hotels and eliminating as many employee-owned take-home vehicles as possible.

This is not the first time the council has thought about charging for parking. In 2005, it claimed it could raise $1 million each year if it only charged non-residents, but the proposal failed 7-1.

It is unclear as of now if this newly proposed plan will charge all beach-goers or just tourists.

“They chased off half of the beach goers with the alcohol ban (and) now they have come up with a plan to chase off the other half,” a user said in a comment on CBS 8 San Diego’s website.

Others reciprocated the lack of enthusiasm. One user wrote, “We will find ways to save our money!! You better hope the beach is worth it or the City will really be sorry!!” while another asked, “After paying for people to collect will they really make any money?”

According to CBS 8 San Diego, Councilman Kevin Faulconer is opposed to the idea. His district includes Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and Mission Bay.

The suggestions are scheduled to be discussed at the City Council’s Budget Committee hearing next week on June 15 at 9 a.m. in the Council Committee Room of the City Administration Building  located at 202 C Street.

1 Comment

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    June 9, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    As many will agree, the beaches and bays of San Diego offer all residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy what is most beautiful about our “finest city.” Every tourist, visitor and resident, including a great portion of the locals that try to live on low incomes, are content with not having to pay fees to access these open spaces.

    Why would the city council want to take one more thing away from its tax-paying citizens and start charging for something that has always been free for us to enjoy?

    Who are you hurting the most? Those who cannot afford to pay for other forms of leisure and entertainment that others in a better financial positions take for granted. What’s a $5 or $10 charge going to do to the monthly budgets of those with a livable income? Barely make a dent. What’s a $5 or $10 charge going to do to someone with little to no money to spend other than on the most important essentials. That’s right, the most important essentials, because many cannot afford to even purchase all essential items needed.

    Those who make minimum wage or slightly more can barely afford to support themselves, let alone a spouse and children. And many of the beach and bay goers fit into this category. So do those who live on a disability income or social security.

    Sure, everyone has to sacrifice just a little to keep our city afloat – that’s why we have taxes raised for necessities. If just a tiny amount is paid by a few million people, that helps.

    If the City has to pay to have a parking system implemented, how much will that cost? If San Diego starts to become known as the city that charges for what should be free, tourism will suffer. Beach-area merchants will be impacted. Less taxes for the city. Why charge more for something that will end up bringing the city less tax revenue?

    How else might the city bring in more revenue? Put more policemen on the streets. Have them cite the people who continuously ignore the rules of the road. I can’t tell you how many people, in one hour of traveling through the city, do not honor the four-way stop rules. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone when it was my turn and almost ran into someone who decided they were going to go anyway.

    How about all of those who STILL DRIVE WHILE TALKING ON THEIR CELL PHONES? Who is citing these folks? Why are city police not paying attention to this? I constantly see people holding their phones while driving and am unable to do anything about it, like write their license plate numbers down because I am driving.

    The list goes on and on and includes those police duties that are a waste of time and taxpayers money. Screen your police better and demand a better education from them. How many San Diego City police officers have been involved in unlawful and/or immoral behavior costing the city even more?

    There is a lot wrong with our City’s budget that can be addressed without having to take away the very basics of wholesome and healthy fun, for all to enjoy free.

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