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Possible Beach Parking Fees Making Waves

Even before the first meeting, the suggestion of possible parking fees at Santa Barbara County beaches that are currently free, is causing concern.No actual fee has been proposed, but the County Park Commission has scheduled a meeting next Thursday to discuss a potential fee.If implemented it would impact seven beaches: Rincon Beach, Loon Point, Lookout Park, Arroyo Burro Beach, Goleta Beach, Ocean Beach and Guadalupe Dunes Park. One beach visitor Anna Moyer from Santa Ynez said, to pay for beaches she went to as a child for free is upsetting. “I would probably stop coming to the one you would have to pay for,” she said. “I would stop coming here.” Moyer and her children were enjoying Goleta Beach Park around noon, along with hundreds of others. The county has said in public sessions, about a million visitors a year go to this beach.At Hendry’s Beach in Santa Barbara, also known as Arroyo Burro Beach, Ann Erickson said she would be willing to pay a small fee to come to the sand and walk her dog. She is there regularly. Erickson realizes the county is looking for funds during these bad financial years and says, “I know the times are hard all around. If I would have to pay a dollar a day I would still come to the beach.”But Joe Mastroianni looks at it differently. “I think it’s going to do the opposite of what they say. People are not going to be able to use the beach. This is supposed to be for us. Only the people with money can come.” More information will be presented in the Board of Supervisors Hearing room at 105 E. Anapamu Street July 26, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.KEY News Senior Reporter John Palminteri has our story.

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