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.

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