The Santa Barbara Park and Recreation Commission‘s meeting on Wednesday will include a presentation by recreation staff concerning the regulation of commercial activities in city parks and beaches. After much public comment on the subject at its July meeting, the commission recommended that staff return to the commission with a recommendation on how the activities could be better regulated. 

The issue came to the forefront for the Parks & Recreation Department when the department received numerous complaints from residents living near Shoreline Park regarding numerous fitness classes being held in the park throughout the week. “Boot camp” exercise programs held in outdoor venues, typically parks and beaches, are a trend in physical fitness. Based on the proliferation of these activities and the many complaints received, the department staff has determined the need to take a more active role in regulating these kinds of commercial uses of public park space. 

The city of Santa Barbara requires that any person conducting business in a city park or city beach have a park permit. After investigation by the department, it was determined that a number of the groups had been operating their businesses in the park without the required permit. The goal of the proposed new policies is to better regulate the impact that these commercial multisession classes and activities have on scheduled park activities, park rentals or drop-in park users in Shoreline Park and other city parks and beaches.

Residents who are interested in speaking to the commission on the issue are encouraged to attend Wednesday’s meeting, which will begin at 4 p.m. in City Council Chambers, on the second floor of City Hall at 735 Anacapa St.

Click here to view the meeting agenda and staff report.

For more information on the meeting, call recreation programs manager Judith McCaffrey at 805.897.1946.

Adrienne Villa represents the city of Santa Barbara.