California Coastal Commission may tell Del Mar to lower parking meter rates

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-27 21:06:53-04

DEL MAR, Calif. - The California Coastal Commission may tell the city of Del Mar to roll back the prices on some of its parking meters.

Currently, Del Mar is charging $3 an hour at a third of its city parking meters.

"Wow! Three-bucks an hour? That's crazy," said a visitor from Seattle, who parked along Coast Boulevard near the dog beach.

"It's terrible like anything else. We don't need any more taxes," said Escondido resident Michael McKinney. "With a beach that really belongs to us anyway."

A document posted on the commission's website says Del Mar wants to charge $3 during peak season to encourage turnover at popular spots. It would be $2 an hour during non-peak times. The city also wants to extend the enforcement period from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., to 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The commission's staff recommendation on the document says the city should charge $2 an hour during peak periods and $1 during non-peak times.

A California Coastal Commission spokeswoman said Del Mar's prices are too high and would lead to crowding at other beaches with cheaper parking. She added the $3 rate is far more expensive than other beach communities.

"Parking's hard enough to find anyway and then they're going to start thinking about different alternatives," said the Seattle visitor.

"I just wouldn't come here. That's just too much money," said McKinney.

The Coastal Commission will discuss the rate during its July 13 meeting.