In the heart of summer, comes, what appears to be a gloomy idea, for possible pay parking at what are currently free Santa Barbara County beaches. The first hearing on the proposal drew a long line of citizens who told county leaders they are against the parking fee, or the impacts paid parking would cause on public streets near the beach.The County Park Commission held the first of three meetings on the idea. Suggested fees ranged from one dollar to two dollars per visit or a daily pass that could be from two dollars to four dollars depending on the site. Annual passes would be $100 dollars.The county says it could generate over two million dollars from the program.The fees are being considered at a time when he county is facing a budget deficit in the coming fiscal year and it is considering many options to generate new funds.”It would be horrible, because I have customers who will walk in the door and say ‘I stopped because there was a public space in front.’ If it’s not there, they’ll just keep going,” said Peggy Puentes, owner of the Indian Summer store in Summerland.KEY News Senior Reporter John Palminteri has our story.
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