Could beach parking rates on Sanibel could go up?


SANIBEL, Fla.,- It’s your money and parking in paradise may soon be pricier. WINK News confirms you could soon shell out more to park at Sanibel beaches. The city council is talking about raising the parking fee by one dollar an hour.

“I would not have a problem paying the extra dollar if it went for beach maintenance,” said John Thomson.

The money you spend to park here goes back to maintaining the beaches on Sanibel and Captiva.

“We were here Friday and it was amazing how clean it was. It’s kept up very well in my opinion,” said Thomson.

“If you’re a tourist, you have to pay the price and I think if it’s supporting the beaches, that’s what needs to happen,” said Taylor Brooks.

Parking at places like Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach costs you three dollars an hour and now council is looking at raising that price to four dollars.

“We do want to utilize this beach, this beautiful beach, but that will cut people back,” said Freddie Santiago.

But, some visitors say before upping the rate, there needs to be more parking.

“No, they don’t have enough space, they have to be more.”

The money brought in from the parking lots goes to pay for things like beach clean up, fixing erosion and keeping up the bathrooms. It costs about two and a half million dollars a year.

“I just came from the beach now, it could use a cleaning. It’s not that it’s garage, but, some of the seaweed could be cleaned up,” said Santiago.

Council is also looking at raising the $50 fine for those who park illegally.

“I think 50 dollars is more than enough.”

Council will introduce the idea next month.

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