JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - The Jacksonville Beach City Council just approved to double the cost of parking starting this weekend.
In a 5-to-1 vote on Monday, City Council has approved to apply the hike only applies on the weekends, holidays and during festivals. Visitors will be expected to pay $10, double the current rate. Residents get to park for free as long as they can show proof of residency.
Mayor Charlie Latham said the cost of overtime pay for city officers to secure parking lots during big events is a huge expense in itself.
Council member Keith Doherty voted against the rate increase. He said parking adding parking garages to create more space makes more sense.
"We don't have a pricing problem, we have a parking problem, or lack thereof," Doherty said.
Jacksonville Beach currently has roughly 1,000 parking spaces, according to the city's website.
"I think a $10 flat fee is a little excessive," Doherty said.
Doherty explained that he worries visitors will find other places to park instead of in the city, like residential areas and walk to the beach. However, Mayor Latham said he has a solution for that: "A residential permit process."
Latham said this residential permit program will go into affect once the new parking lot on 2nd Street and 3rd Avenue N. is complete.