The crowd of visitors that come to Cannon Beach in the summer may be reason enough for the city to consider finding a way to pay for the additional costs incurred for the services like in Tillamook County.
In October, the Tillamook County Commissioners voted to increase the fees for day use access passes and annual day use access passes in county park areas starting in 2021, according to a release from the Tillamook County Commissioners.
The purpose of the increase is to pay for the cost of the services visitors use and the county incurs for bathrooms, parking and garbage collection, the release states.
Should the city of Cannon Beach start charging for parking in the downtown area?
The city of Cannon Beach is hoping to start a study next month that may answer this question, said Jeff Adams, city community development director.
The study will be the city’s first transportation plan and will be paid for by a grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation, Adams said. Although the study is comprehensive, it will include an analysis of the city’s parking issues.
He said a few years ago, the city did a parking study but the recommendation to limit the parking time downtown “got some push back.”
Jim Paino, the chamber of commerce director, said the city considered “going to limited (time) parking downtown,” but it was not well received by the businesses.
Debbie Nelson, owner of Basketcase-Your Cannon Beach Florist, said the idea of charging for parking downtown makes no sense. If a shopper parks downtown, shops and then stops for lunch, and then if they have to move their car before they are done with their shopping and lunch, they will not get another space. They would basically have to leave town.
Nelson said the real issue is the day trippers who park downtown and then go to the beach, taking the spaces away from the shoppers. The downtown spaces are really for the shoppers.
She suggests the city look into the idea of opening parking for day trippers on the east side of Hwy. 101, then shuttling people to the beach.
Erik Ostrander, co-manager of the Sea Breeze Court, said in his personal opinion, “the day trippers need to be paying something.”
They use the bathrooms, which the city has to maintain and the parking spaces have to be striped, for example. During busy days, the city police have to monitor the area. This all costs the city something. Property owners contribute through their property tax and the transient lodging tax paid by overnight visitors contributes to the cost of these services. The day trippers do not pay anything.
Ostrander said he thinks it is “a little unfair” that the day trippers do not contribute.