Pixel Tracker

Saturday, November 17 , 2018, 11:14 pm | Fog/Mist 53º

 
 
 
 

Santa Maria Council Balks at Proposed New Fee For Park Activities

A new permit proposed for food vendors and people hosting fitness classes in Santa Maria parks stalled Tuesday night amid concerns the proposed fees were too costly.

The Santa Maria City Council referred the new commercial activity and concession permit proposal back to the Recreation and Parks Commission to review the fees.

Recreation and Parks Director Alex Posada said the proposal arose due to concerns about people conducting business in local parks. 

“These businesses range from mobile food vending to instructional classes, dog obedience classes, fitness classes, where these individuals were charging fees to the public and then using the park to profit from that park use,” Posada said. 

Park rangers have noted several vendors selling various products during soccer games and other events.

“Many of these individuals do not have a health permit, do not have a business license,” Posada said. 

Some vendors works for large companies, based in Bakersfield or Oxnard, that bring large trucks filled with carts as workers fan across Santa Maria on weekends to sell items. 

The annual permits would allow the city to better regulate vendors, Posada said, adding costs would range from $300 for fitness classes, $600 for selling from bicycle-pulled or push carts and $1,200 for a motorized vehicle.

Santa Maria city staff surveyed other similar cities, such as Oxnard and Salinas, to establish the proposed fees, Posada said. 

The new permit won’t target regular walkers or others using parks for exercise, he said. 

The permits are a trend across the county as fitness gyms and restaurants move away from the traditional “brick and mortar” building and use public spaces to make a profit, Posada said during the council meeting. 

“In this case, we’re trying to regulate that,” he added.

However, City Council members worried about the cost of the new permits, echoing concerns aired by some audience members.

“I do have some sympathy here that we do have some very hardworking people out there that are just trying to earn an honest buck,” Councilman Jack Boysen said, adding he still supports regulating the vendors. 

“They shouldn’t have an advantage over the guy that owns the corner grocery store,” Boysen said. 

Councilman Michael Moats also questioned the fees, citing the proposed $600 permit for a bicycle cart.

“I wonder if $600 might be punitive for those people and might discourage them for even showing up,” Moats said, adding Santa Maria city aims to be business friendly.

Councilman Mike Cordero agreed, saying, “Some of these fees do seem a bit steep.”

Posada said the city already offers cheaper fees in some cases to local residents and could implement a similar 25-percent reduction for the new permit.

The proposal will return to the Recreation and Parks Commission to consider an appropriate cost for permits. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.