The City Commission will review options presented by the city’s ad hoc parking committee. The committee was formed in 2012 to explore parking alternatives for the city.
Palm Coast, FL – April 28, 2015 – The Flagler Beach City Commission will meet in special session Thursday, April 30, 5:30 P.M. until 7:30 P.M. to discuss parking options presented by the city’s ad hoc parking committee. The committee was formed in 2012 to explore parking alternatives for the city.
Since this is a Special Meeting and not a workshop, there is a possibility that City Commissioners may vote to accept one of the four options presented during the meeting.
Like many beach towns, Flagler Beach becomes congested during the peak season. Visitors, businesses and residents compete for a limited number of parking spaces. Local businesses do not always have on-site parking facilities sufficient for the number of employees and customers, impacting on-street parking.
Residents want to maintain the quiet nature of a residential community. While visitors and tourism are the heart of the city’s economy, the costs associated with a large number of visitors (life guards, road maintenance, traffic and code enforcement, etc.) falls on local taxpayers. The ad hoc committee has presented options to mitigate the problems and, with some options, increase city revenue to help defray expenses.
But Flagler Beach is not the only beachside municipality addressing the problem. What neighboring municipalities decide to do about paid parking will have consequences beyond their borders. For instance, if neighboring municipalities implement paid parking or increase parking fees already in effect, visitors might be more inclined to visit Flagler Beach; exacerbating Flagler Beach’s parking woes.
On the other hand, if Flagler Beach initiates paid parking, it might result in fewer visitors and tourists who are the bread and butter of the city’s economy. Paid parking, however implemented, will have an impact on Flagler Beach’s famous iconic old Florida beach town atmosphere.
In keeping with its recent move to be more publicly visible and involved in local decisions which impact their members (e.g. Salamander’s Lodge and Sea Ray’s parking lot), the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce yesterday communicated to their membership the salient points of each of Flagler Beach’s parking options. The options presented were excerpted from the ad hoc committee’s “Public Book.” Each option was presented with pros and cons. Chamber members were then asked to complete a seven-question survey, the results of which will be presented at Thursday’s Commission meeting.
Following are the options as described by the Chamber communication.
Take no action.
- Aesthetic of the City will remain the same (no kiosks, no additional signage)
- This will satisfy those who feel that parking management and/or paid parking is not in sync with Flagler Beach’s unique, eclectic, friendly, hometown feel or would be detrimental in some businesses
- Taking no action means no new stream of revenue for City of Flagler Beach
- Tax payers continue to cover the costs for non-residents/visitors
- Fails to recognize existing parking challenges
- Challenges will only get worse the longer we don’t address them
No paid parking in City of Flagler Beach, but create a parking plan with proper enforcement of time limits where appropriate, all year long. This option includes having time limits on SR A1A to encourage beach goers who will be at the beach for multiple hours to park in the proposed new lots on South Flagler. Institute all general recommendations listed in previous option.
- Creates some parking space turnover for businesses
- Some limited revenue for city from enforcement of time limits
- Aesthetics of the city will remain similar to today (no kiosks, but some added signage)
- This will satisfy those who feel that parking management and/or paid parking is not in sync with Flagler Beach’s unique, eclectic, friendly, hometown feel or would be detrimental to some businesses, although some may not like the time limits
- No significant source of revenue for the city
- Negative stigma for city associated with ticketing visitors for time-limit infractions
Options III and IV have paid parking components. In both options, the committee recommends paid parking only 36 weeks per year with free parking October 15 – February 15, due to the seasonal pattern of visitors to Flagler Beach. Paid parking in the recommendations is from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. seven days per week.
Paid parking by kiosk in all city parking lots – except the proposed new free lots on South Flagler Avenue. There is no on-street paid parking in this option. Also included is the proper enforcement of on-street time limits where appropriate, as well as time limits on SR A1A to encourage beach-goers planning to stay at the beach for multiple hours to park in the proposed new lots on South Flagler. Institute all general recommendations listed in previous option. No annual parking passes for residents of Flagler Beach with this option, since the paid parking would only affect city lots (except for proposed new lots on Flagler Avenue).
Fees: Kiosks in municipal lots could be set for smaller fees for those who need to park for a short time. Committee considered $5 for a full day of parking weekdays and $7 for a full day of parking on the weekend to be reasonable.
- This is a conservative approach to paid parking in the City of Flagler Beach requiring a small capital investment
- More revenue that Option II for City of Flagler Beach
- Does not clutter the aesthetics of Flagler Beach and our scenic A1A (for those who don’t want to see kiosks)
- Creates peaking space turnover for businesses
- Offers options for those who are willing to walk a few blocks and park in the free lots as well as those who are willing to pay a small fee for a space in a lot closer to the beach
- Less revenue than Option IV for City of Flagler Beach
- May push cars onto streets in residential neighborhoods – so city may have to institute parking zones where only residents who have sticker can park on certain streets
- Less revenue to cover administrative costs
- Since we have some paid parking, there could be a greater expectation for a higher level of beach maintenance and services without significant revenue to pay for this
- Residents of Flagler Beach would have to pay to park in public lots
- Could negatively impact businesses
Paid parking by kiosk in all city parking lots – except the proposed new free lots on South Flagler Avenue. Paid on-street parking in downtown corridor on some streets (See image on page 4: streets marked as blue on map). This option includes proper enforcement of on-street time limits where appropriate (but not on A1A where those willing to pay for a premium space could do so through the kiosk and identify the amount of time desired). Institute all genera recommendations listed in previous option. Annual parking passes for residents of Flagler Beach (at low TBD cost – possibly about $30 annually – just to cover administration costs).
- Most revenue for city of the four options and most effective parking space turnover for local businesses
- Offers something for everyone: Free parking lots to the west, reasonably-priced city parking lots with options for beachgoers and visitors to local businesses, and premium paid parking spaces on-street on A1A and other downtown streets
- May push cars onto streets in residential neighborhoods – so city may have to institute parking zones where only residents who have a sticker can park on certain streets
- Large capital investment
- Solution must be found to challenge of parking needs for employees of downtown businesses
- Having parking kiosks on A1A and in our downtown is a negative aesthetic factor for some
- Some people feel that parking management and/or paid parking is not in synch with Flagler Beach’s unique, eclectic, friendly hometown feel or would be detrimental to some businesses
- Could negatively impact business
Be informed. Be heard. If you will be affected by a change in Flagler Beach parking regulations, make your voice heard. Communicate with City Commissioners and/or attend Thursday’s meeting.
Flagler Beach City Commission:
Linda Provencher, Mayor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Settle, Commissioner: email@example.com
Jane Mealy, Vice Chairman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Carney, Commissioner: email@example.com
Joy McGrew, Commissioner: No email provided – Phone 386-439-3106
Marshall Shupe, Chairman: firstname.lastname@example.org