Supervisors OK increase in L.A. beach parking and other fees
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to hike fees for dozens of services at the beach, an effort to offset growing maintenance costs at one of California’s most popular attractions.
“We’re not raising the fees for no reason,” said Carol Baker, a spokeswoman for the county.
“Some of our critical services are covered by taxpayer dollars, but we do have an obligation” to fund others through revenue, Baker said. “It’s a balancing act.”
The plan will increase the price of services from room rentals at local community centers to boat storage and even summer camp field trips. It will also boost parking fees at some of the county’s most popular beaches for the first time in a decade.
“It’s very hard to find low-cost accommodations and facilities for things like meetings and classes on the coast,” said Shelley Luce of Heal the Bay, an environmental advocacy group. “It’s a real benefit to us that we have publicly owned facilities, so we obviously want our county to be able to defray the cost of operating those.”
The majority of the fees approved Tuesday will take effect Aug. 1. But some of the most significant changes — including a $10-a-day boost in the price to park a full-sized RV — require approval from the Coastal Commission.
“Increases in parking fees that can affect public access to the California coast require a coastal development permit,” commission spokeswoman Noaki Schwartz said in an email. “The county will need to apply for one and go through the process.”
The new fees will help pay for a planned expansion at the Dockweiler RV Park in Playa Del Rey, including 19 new spots for camper vans to park at a discounted rate.
“By expanding the park, we’re actually going to be able to provide space for camping at a lower rate than we have for camper vans,” Baker said in an email. “It’s only the larger spaces for the full-sized RV’s that will see an increase, and we haven’t raised those rates in more than a decade.”
But county officials believe their biggest source of new revenue will come from more modest increases in beach parking fees for ordinary visitors — mostly on weekdays and in the winter — and that those hikes may not require approval because they fall below the prices for summer weekends.
Many of the most popular beaches in L.A. County already charge $15 to $20 a day for parking on summer weekends, while winter weekday rates can be as low as $4.
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