Visitors to the and International Boardwalk will soon be paying a little more to park, the City Council decided after a public hearing Tuesday evening.
The installation of new pay-by-space parking meters and the removal of the parking gates offered the city a chance to develop a new rate schedule, according to Pete Carmichael, the director of harbor, business and transit.
The old rate for the pier and pier plaza parking lots was $1.50 per hour, though some businesses offered validation for the first hour, with a daily maximum of $7.50 on weekdays and $10.50 on weekends in the summer. Winter daily maximums were $3 on weekdays and $5 on weekends.
The new rates will not have a daily maximum, and will differ in the summer and winter. During the summer, it will cost $2 per hour to park in the lots; however, on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., the first hour will cost 50 cents.
In the winter, parking will cost $1.50 per hour. The first hour will still cost 50 cents on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The increase in parking rates will bring the city an extra $225,000 to $625,000 per year in revenue.
How much the city receives "is really going to depend on how the long-term parkers react to the new structure," Carmichael said.
Those who park in the lots to spend a day at the beach will probably end up paying more to park because of the elimination of the daily maximums; however, most people will not pay significantly more for parking, according to the city report.
"We're doing this in a way to keep it a modest increase for 80 percent of parkers," Carmichael said.
On holidays or other special occasions, such as the Fourth of July, the city might decide to collect a flat rate, Carmichael said. Additionally, the city is looking into cell phone applications that would allow parkers to add time to their meters remotely.
"The good news is parking meters have come a long way," he said.
People with handicapped parking placards will still be able to park for free in designated spots, and visitors to the Cancer Support Community - Redondo Beach office will pay 25 cents per day.
Representatives of the pier businesses said they saw the new hourly rates and parking system as a good thing.
"I think it's going to be helpful in the long term, and I think we're going to see a bunch of benefits from it," said Trinity Keeney, the manager of .
A staff report recommended selling seven-day-per-month parking passes for the pier's main parking structure for $35 per month. Annual passes would be purchased for $280.
A staff recommendation to raise the cost of monthly passes for five-day-per-month parking at the pier and seven-day-per-month parking at the pier plaza from $10 to $25 per month and institute an annual pass for $200 was met with opposition from the Council and several business owners. Judy Milner of told the Council that while she liked the rate increase for pier visitors, she opposed increasing the cost of the monthly permit.
A $25 pass would be expensive for employees who work only four-hour shifts; however, because she employs more people in the summer than in the winter, purchasing an annual pass for all her employees would cost her too much money, Milner said.
"Either way, I'm in a Catch-22 and my employees are in a Catch-22," she said.
Councilman Steven Diels proposed reducing the monthly rate to $15 and the annual rate to $100; however, Councilman Bill Brand, whose Second District includes the pier and King Harbor, suggested leaving the rate the same.
Councilmen Steve Aspel and Pat Aust agreed, and Brand's motion carried, 3-2. Diels and Councilman Matthew Kilroy dissented.
The new meters and associated rates are scheduled to go into service in the pier plaza lot next week, Carmichael said.