Public Blasts Proposed Beach Parking Fees

Community Members Speak Out at Recent County Park Commission Meeting

The first of three County Park Commission meetings on the possibility of beach parking fees revealed what most already knew: The public is very much against the idea. About 40 people showed up Thursday morning, with roughly half telling the Park Commission they are against the idea. Residents of Alan Road, near Arroyo Burro Beach, already see a lot of traffic from beach-goers. They expect it will only get worse if beach visitors have to pay to park. Currently, the idea is general, and whether it’s an hourly fee or a fixed flat rate ​— ​or whether fees are recommended at all ​— ​remains to be seen.

Summerland residents spoke of how parking spaces have already been recently lost, and beach parking fees would only increase the spotlight on how little parking there is in the tiny town. “Please don’t do this to our community,” said Jeff Melnick, who said he was speaking on behalf of downtown Summerland business owners. “We have already lost enough.”

“The county should be expanding opportunities for beach access, not limiting them,” said resident Alan Howard. Adam White, who along with his father operates the Boathouse, said parking fees could have a huge impact on their business. “We’ve put our heart and soul, as well as our livelihoods, into these restaurants,” he told the board. The next two meetings are August 16 in the County Planning Commission hearing room at 5:30 p.m. and August 23 at 9:30 a.m. in Santa Maria. The Park Commission is planning to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors at its August 23 meeting.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

UCSB Strikes for the Climate

Students join worldwide youth action for their future.

City Bed Tax Bounces Back

Losses from Thomas Fire's effect on lodging being erased.

Drought Is Officially Over, County Declares

Yet officials say a water shortage remains.

Muslim Students Organize Vigil for New Zealand Victims

Attack that killed 51 people described as “act of pure evil and terrorism” by UCSB students.

News Commentary: Death Penalty Shouts and Whispers

Governor's reprieve has little effect in Santa Barbara, except in the Han case.