Collier to stop selling beach parking stickers to non-residents

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NAPLES, Fla. Collier County beach parking stickers will no longer be sold to non-county residents.

Naples City Council voted 4-2 Wednesday to ratify an amendment to its parking agreement with the county. The amendment does away with the $50 annual stickers that allowed residents outside the county unlimited parking at city and county beaches.

The amendment doesn’t include an earlier proposal to force county residents to get a second sticker to park at city beaches. A single annual beach parking sticker for city and county beaches will continue to be free for all county residents.

MORE: Collier commissioners mull beach parking costs

The county voted Tuesday to accept the amendment, which ups the fee the county pays to the city for allowing its residents to park at city beaches from $1 million to $1.5 million per year.

Forcing non-county residents to pay each time they park, instead of the flat $50 annual sticker, is expected to give the county the $500,000 necessary to offset the fee increase, according to a county study.

The city-county parking agreement was to expire Sept. 30, 2018, but the amendment extends it until the same date in 2022.

Councilman Doug Finlay and Vice Mayor Linda Penniman expressed a desire for a shorter amendment in casting their dissenting votes. Finlay wants the city and county to be able to assess the program after two years to stay ahead of fraud.

“There’s probably going to be a lot of people trying to get a way around that system,” Finlay said.

Counciman Sam Saad, who voted for the amendment, suggested the council take a hard look at ending its parking agreement with the county once the four years are up.

The city provides more parking spaces per capita and a better beach experience than the county does, Saad said.

“I’m very curious to know what it would look like if we did away with the agreement and we just collected meter revenue from everybody,” he said. “Our spaces are worth more than theirs.”

MORE: Collier could eliminate beach parking stickers for non-residents

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