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National City says possible fees are part of recommendations for future cruising events

Posted at 8:45 AM, May 19, 2022

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (KGTV) - The first cruising event in National City in 30 years may have been too popular for its own good.

"So, with success, comes the need to reevaluate,” said National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis.

That reevaluation came in a letter from the National City Police Department, and it outlines concerns like traffic safety and the need for off-duty officers at future cruises.

Also noted: A roughly $8,000 fee the United Lowrider Coalition is being asked to pay.

"It's going to be very difficult to impose this kind of figure onto a coalition that's a grassroots, community-led organization,” said Aida Castanda, political advisor for United Lowrider Coalition.

Despite the issues with the fees, Sotelo-Solis said those requirements are also asked for of other events.

"For example, last night, we approved of our Fourth of July carnival held by our local Lion's Club. They are paying $29,000 in fees for a five-day carnival here at Kimball Park,” Sotelo-Solis said.

One of the issues the letter cites is the original temporary use permit (TUP) estimating 50 people and 100 cars would be at the event.

There were noticeably a lot more people and cars at the first cruise on May 6.

"So, now that the conditions of the TUP have changed, considering what they cite as one of those facts is the audience and we underestimated it. It's important to figure out how we are going to amend it where we're all held accountable” Castanda said.

Members of the coalition are asking for some kind of assistance from the city.

"If there are fees, as we do with others, we can be creative. There's always payment plans,” Sotelo-Solis said. "It's about keeping our community safe, keep the cruising going, and support the efforts of the United Lowrider Coalition."

The coalition says that it will have to that in future talks with the city about those fees to cruise and hit those switches on Highland Avenue.

“We would have to become incredibly creative to find some solutions. But it’s difficult to say how we are going to have to deal with an issue that we did not anticipate,” Castanda said.

The mayor says the cruises are still going to happen. She added that the low rider ad-hoc committee, which is she is a part of, will be meeting with the coalition next week to discuss the recommendations and the fees.

The next scheduled cruise event is Friday, June 3.

The city will reevaluate the TUP of the ULC during the June 7 city council meeting.