Del Mar could install beachfront parking meters

Posted at 5:45 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 20:16:15-05

Del Mar is a city famous for enforcing strict parking rules.

Now city officials are discussing a new proposal that would put paid parking spots near the beachfront areas. 

J.R. Ayala and his two kids didn't need a car to get to Del Mar’s beaches Thursday morning.

"One of the things that's cool about the beach is it's free. It's one of the cool things you can do for free,” he said.

And that won't change, as long as they keep using their feet to get there.

But a proposal being floated around Del Mar calls for paving over the narrow beach cul-de-sacs from 18th to 29th streets along Ocean Front, and building small parking areas.

"How many spots could it create? I mean, like, two, four, spots?” Ayala said.

A city memo says a few dozen spots could fit, generating up to $300,000 a year.

"Surfers in the morning are going to take up those spots anyway,” Ayala said.

Del Mar is known for enforcing its parking rules every day.

The county's smallest city expects to generate $500,000 in parking tickets this fiscal year.

"They bring up the chalk and they start chalking up your car and the tires,” Ayala said.

But some Del Mar residents who live along the beach don't want the spots either.

Robin Crabtree said it would be an intrusion.

"We do live here, and so you're talking about putting a public parking space in a residential community,” she said.

Del Mar City Council members appeared cool to the proposal at their meeting this week, but they didn't kill it either.

First, they'll ask beachfront residents for their take.

Residents will get their chance to sound off on the parking proposal as part of a meeting Sunday at the Del Mar Powerhouse. Mayor Sherryl Parks is among the council members expected to attend.

Crabtree said they’ll send a clear message about the proposal. 

"Dead on arrival,” she said.