Beachgoers shocked to find this parking lot has now become a $100-a-ticket ‘cash grab’ for the city
When the parking spaces in North Beach’s Beach Channel Park turn from a pleasant place to sit under shade trees to a place to walk past all day, and to sit in the cool breeze that comes with it, you have to ask if something is wrong. At least, that is what I did when I came to the beach to visit my ailing sister. But when my sister (who is in her 90’s) showed me where these spaces used to be, all I could do was shake my head and say something like: ‘My God, that’s a waste of money!’
The beaches of San Diego used to be like the ones in Southern California: places for people to swim, play and chill out. Now, the days of the “beach stroll” or the “drive-in park” are gone. Every single parking space in North Beach has been turned into a cash grab. In a town where public transportation and parking are both expensive, where people rarely pay for anything they purchase because it’s free or discounted at the grocery store, the parking at the beach has been sold to developers who want to build what is basically a giant parking lot for a high profile development in one of the fastest growing housing markets in the United States.
This has all been going on for years. The city of San Diego has been selling off beach parking to developers for years. The parking was not sold to one particular developer. It was sold to a company that now owns and operates the parking lot, and when you combine that with a general lack of enforcement, it was sold on the market for a price deemed to be profitable for the company that bought the lot and now owns it.
In 2016, the city council voted unanimously to go along with the sale to the private company, and approved a tax abatement that would allow that company to develop the lot. Despite the city’s approval of this deal, the company only sold the lot to its current owner, which only bought the lot to turn it into a parking lot for that private company, and now has no interest in building any sort of residential development on the lot.
In the last year alone, the city has sold the rights to the beach to several different developers. As a result, the beach has been