Paid beach parking discussion continues

Special to the PRESS

Officials on South Padre Island once again revisited the topic of paid parking during a meeting of the Shoreline Task Force on Monday, Dec. 10.

“As you all know, the beach user fee discussion is something that we have been having for quite some time,” began Shoreline Management Director Brandon Hill. “It is an item that we’ve thoroughly investigated, and are continuing to thoroughly investigate.”

Hill provided a review of the presentation he gave at the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) conference. He reported the presentation had been updated to include feedback received from an open house held on the Island in October that focused on the beach user fee issue.

His updated presentation also included a lot of information he learned from interactions with Galveston city leaders about that community’s own paid beach parking.

“In Texas, we have a unique issue that we have to deal with,” Hill said. “We like to drive on our beaches.”

He stated that the majority of the other states in the U.S. do not permit driving on the beach. “It’s a unique thing to Texas,” noted Hill.

He went on to explain that the City must provide adequate parking that complies with the rules of the Texas General Land Office (GLO) in order to maintain a pedestrian-only beachfront.

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