Susan Robinson (foreground) and other members of the public showed their opposition for proposed parking fees at a recent county hearing.

Paul Wellman

Susan Robinson (foreground) and other members of the public showed their opposition for proposed parking fees at a recent county hearing.

Supes Drown Beach Fees

Vote Against Implementing Controversial Proposal

Thursday, October 11, 2012
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The proposed implementation of parking fees at county beaches won’t be happening, the Board of Supervisors said emphatically Tuesday morning. Estimates showed the proposal could have generated between $1.6 million to $2.5 million annually, depending on the amount charged and the type of fee collected. But when the idea was most recently floated in July, the public voiced its concerns loudly and often, noting, among other things, the impact to surrounding neighborhoods, less overall access to the beach, and the loss of recreation for low-income families. Over the course of three Park Commission meetings, 86 people spoke in opposition of the fees.

Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf ​— ​whose district is home to two of the county’s most frequently used beaches, Goleta Beach and Arroyo Burro Beach ​— ​has been adamantly opposed to the idea since it was raised several years ago to help generate revenue. The proposal, along with the idea of charging fees for county parks in general, is done for now. “I don’t believe that the county or my constituents take either of these lightly,” she said. “The outpouring of angst, and … incredible disappointment that we would be considering this was incredibly evident.”

Still, how to generate more revenue remains a central question for the county. Earlier this year, the supervisors decided not to pursue a possible oil tax, and at a separate meeting, they also decided not to raise the county’s hotel bed tax. The county currently charges 10 percent, two percent less than many of the other jurisdictions in the area. The oil tax would have raised between $1.8 million and $3.3 million a year, while the bed tax increase would have brought in an additional $1.1 million annually.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

There are many people to thank for their activism toward defeating this proposal.
Surfrider's involvement was huge. They have a very impressive record in the fight to protect the coastline , especially in the area of beach access. The supes and Parks Commissioners no doubt realized they were up against a formidable foe. I suggest that those who care about the coast join Surfrider and become part of their network as there are ongoing fights for the entire coastline.
The Park Commissioners , especially Chair Judith Dale , were great in their handling of the rambunctious hearings.Thanks to them as well.
Chris Meagher's role as reporter was critical in his early and consistant work to keep this issue in the pages of the Indy. Other local news sources only stepped up coverage after it became such a hot button issue. Many thanks to Chris.
Fran Davis deserves recognition as well for her columns on this issue.
Of course , the biggest thanks go to those who took the time to show up at the Parks hearings and voice their opposition to this ill concieved proposal. That was an awesome showing of energy.
Thanks to everyone! I , for one, am so grateful that our beach access rights were not further eroded and that everyone can still have an equal chance to get to the beach.

geeber (anonymous profile)
October 11, 2012 at 4:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Looks like all the free parking socialist geebers and goobers activists showed up to lobby for themselves rather than the low-income. The low income are probably working two jobs and are too busy to lobby for themselves. So there may have been a slant at this hearing.

Surveying the parking lots you'll find mostly very expense rides and other assorted classic tailpipes, big tires on big clanky gas guzzlers, and of course a few nicer eco-hybrid types. Some, to be "eco," must just push that green leaf "ECO" button located somewheres on the dash.

But the real participation comes in when the surfriders take a comprehensive look at the entire budget deficit. There are many deficits. Social services, schools, road maintenance and improvements, enforcement, etc, etc. Oh and some areas have a deficit of really good air quality, and water quality, and little peace and, little quite because of the "neighbors."

Global Warming; 'Oh that.' Surfriders are as addicted as anyone else.

And before we vote down every other development we surfriders should consider more carefully the fiscal advantages along with improvements that new developments can offer and provide the public as well as public coffers. Or we could forgo this socialist free parking and actually pay for products and services we use.

DonMcDermott (anonymous profile)
October 11, 2012 at 6:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The heck with Surfriders. It's their involvement that is responsible, along with enviros for hire EDC that pushed through the "managed retreat" plan at Goleta Beach which will result in the loss of over 100 parking spaces and 200 linear feet of beach. Both which result in loss of public access. It was the CITIZENS of SB, not special interests, that came out on our own without their prodding to speak up for saving us from fees designated to the abyss of the general fund. I might have been open to fees staying in the Parks Department. Kudos to Judith, Suzanne and the rest of the Commission for doing the right thing.

BeachFan (anonymous profile)
October 11, 2012 at 2:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Seems like a far reach to expect a fatass serial keyboard zealot to understand the value of unfettered beach access for everyone , not just those with the ability to pay.

geeber (anonymous profile)
October 11, 2012 at 10:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Right on target, Beach Fan. One correction. 1250 feet of Park will be at risk to erosion under the Goleta Beach 2.0 Plan once the rock protection is removed.

efdlt (anonymous profile)
October 12, 2012 at 8:14 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you for your correction efdlt. It is 6 times worse that I posted.

BeachFan (anonymous profile)
October 12, 2012 at 8:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

you're tripping

easternpacific (anonymous profile)
October 12, 2012 at 8:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Good comments except McDermott. Especially geeber and easternpacific. Note, if they take those rocks away from G beach, the whole place will wash away. There would be other ways to get revenue. Stop giving developers bed tax breaks. etc......And actually I think I do pay my taxes for the services I use.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
October 12, 2012 at 1:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

At least there are some folks in the community that believe that GBP will wash out to sea if the County impliments their plan known as GB2.0.

efdlt (anonymous profile)
October 12, 2012 at 10:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How can anyone simultaneously say that they "do pay my taxes for the services I use" while advocating for developers as "other ways to get revenue." There seems to be a confirmation that revenues are needed and that someone else should pay for the "services I use."

Regardless of the conflicted statements decision makers won't solve the budget problems or the Goleta Beach erosion problem without new revenues. Keep in mind that there is only one yet-to-be-built-hotel that was given a temporary grace on bed taxes. And as far as I know not one single revenue source has been delegated to fund a specific public parking lot. You all are going to have to come up with some realistic solutions. Maybe consider letting elected representatives make the tough decisions required without all this political posturing.

DonMcDermott (anonymous profile)
October 14, 2012 at 6:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

They made their choice, deciding to listen to the Planning Commission's recommendation, and our testimony (part of the process) in regards to not double taxing us for our beach access and use. We already pay for park services, and beach access is our right.
The extra revenue generated in double taxing us was brought to bare by a staffer, who has no bearing of where the $ comes from.
The double tax / parking fee would generate a million dollars or more, 2/3 of which would be eaten up in administration costs.
That scam would disproportionally discriminate against low income people.

easternpacific (anonymous profile)
October 15, 2012 at 4:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Unfettered beach access is a right of every citizen of California.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 15, 2012 at 6:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

From what I have seen , McDermott could stand to get out to the beach for a little belly reducing exercise and stimulation. Perhaps then , he could see the value of beach access that the rest of the community values and strives to protect . Access for everyone , not just those with deep enough pockets to afford it.

geeber (anonymous profile)
October 16, 2012 at 10:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You've seen Don? Is McDermott portly? One should not make light of one's obesity, it's heavy subject matter.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 16, 2012 at 11:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Personally I've had a belly full of this conversation.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 17, 2012 at 12:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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