Town eyes fees for park, beach events
Nonresident charges aim to shield public spaces from overuse.
A revised town law is designed to shield public parks and beaches from overuse by authorizing staff to charge user fees and damage deposits when granting special event permits.
Preferential treatment would be given to residents or town organizations, which would not be charged fees but could be required to post refundable damage deposits, depending on the nature of the event.
Currently, the charge for a special event permit is a $150 administrative fee.
The changes are designed to protect public spaces from damage through overuse while pumping more money into town coffers, Deputy Town Manager Jay Boodheshwar has said.
averages about 20 special event permit applications a year, Boodheshwar has said.
Special events have not caused problems for the parks and beaches, but staff expects more demand for the town’s public spaces as the population of West Palm Beach continues to grow.
After the ordinance moved through the Town Council’s Ordinances, Rules and Standards Committee, the council last week passed it on the first of two readings. Final passage requires another vote in July and adoption of a resolution imposing the fees.
The town would use a sliding scale, based on the number of people involved, to set fees and, where warranted, damage deposits for the special events.
Those using public spaces under the permits would have five hours instead of the current limit of three, to set up and clean up the sites.