As San Diegans gear up to hit the beach this Memorial Day weekend, one coastal city is pushing a plan to add hundreds of parking meters to its beachfront area.
Del Mar is asking the Coastal Commission for permission to install nearly 400 smart meters, which would adjust their time based on demand. The city would install new meters at about 70 current free spots, add meters on a repaved Via de la Valle and replace old meters.
Del Mar already enforces its parking meters and time limits seven days a week.
"It's quite a hefty parking fee here that they charge, and if you don't pay it, there's a very hefty fine," said Solana Beach resident Anne Sticklen.
Del Mar's proposed prices may be too hefty for the Coastal Commission, as the agency surprised city officials this week by pulling its request from its June agenda.
Sarah Richmond, a Coastal Commission staffer, said the city wanted to charge as much as $3 an hour during peak times with a four-hour limit. The Del Mar official working on the plan was on vacation and unavailable to comment.
However, there are some ways around the parking fees. Encinitas resident Maralyn Pendlyshock takes her dog to Dog Beach every week. She said she parks in Solana Beach and walks a quarter mile to Del Mar.
"I get to enjoy the free park with the dog, or go to local restaurants without paying (for parking)," she said.