On September 24th the City of Ventura Administrative Hearing Officer approved a project to install parking meters at the Surfer’s Point Seaside Parking Lot. Surfrider understands the need for paid parking at that location but we were disappointed that certain conditions were not included. Surfrider appealed the decision and we were happy to be able to work with City Staff for a compromise that benefits everyone.

In short, the main takeaway is that there will be no charge for parking from 6-9AM on weekdays and at least from 6-8AM on weekends along with an assurance for proper maintenance of the area. This allows residents and others a chance to park for a dawn patrol surf session or beach walk before work before the $1 per hour charge kicks in.

Here’s a look at our concerns and resolutions:

  1. All parking revenue from that location should be put into a dedicated beach maintenance fund for street cleaning, bathrooms, promenade maintenance, erosion planning, etc. Resolution: The City of Ventura is currently cleaning the restrooms three times a day and will commit to at least once daily post-COVID along with street sweeping once a week. Both will be assessed over a six month period post-COVID with a potential increase in services if needed. Surfrider acknowledges that revenue from this parking lot will be relatively modest in the big picture and setting up a separate beach maintenance fund would be burdensome at this point. Revenue will be part of the Downtown Parking District that has an appointed oversight committee.
  2. An annual parking pass should be available for purchase for City of Ventura residents with a similar 4 hour daily maximum. Resolution: With modest revenue for the parking lot to begin with, Surfrider acknowledges that an annual parking pass system would be too costly to implement.
  3. Consideration should be given to starting the requirement of paid parking at 8am or 9am daily, at least on weekdays, to give residents the opportunity for free parking for an early morning surf session or beach walk. Resolution: City Staff was able to honor our request for free parking early in the mornings with a 4 hour combined limit for free and/or paid parking.
  4. Assurance that 4 hours of parking could be split between two times a day. For example, someone could park for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. Resolution: City Staff confirmed this is currently allowable.

While any loss of free parking can potentially impact beach access, a modest parking change is warranted there for a better overall experience for everyone. Thank you to the City of Ventura for working with us to assure that the area will be maintained properly and free access early in the morning is allowed.