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LA JOLLA, Calif. – For those who can’t afford to live near the beach, finding good parking can be challenging, particularly in the days of COVID-19 when many beach parking lots are closed.

But beachgoers in La Jolla have been experiencing a frustrating problem: curbside parking illegally painted red. The issue recently was reported by the Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego County Chapter after the organization was alerted to it happening at Camino Del Collado in La Jolla.

It is unclear who painted the curb there, said Mitch Silverstein with the Surfrider Foundation.

“We’re really seeing a very, very elite view taking illegal action,” Silverstein said. “You know, (it’s) vandalism of public property to keep the rest of us out of the beach.”

According to Silverstein, the latest incident at Camino Del Collado is just one in a list of similar incidents that have taken place over the years. He argues it’s often about wealthy landowners or property developers attempting to restrict access to public beaches “that belong to all Californians.”

It also presents a challenge to beach visitors as well as anyone who parks there, as they’re still in danger of getting a ticket, even if their vehicle is in an illegally painted space.

“Whether it’s the police or parking enforcement, they may or may not be informed that it’s illegal so if you get a ticket you’re still going to go through that horrible process of fighting it,” Silverstein said.

The Surfrider Foundation said it followed up with the city, which confirmed the incident was “an illegal action.” Even so, they note it sometimes can take as long as three months to correct the issue — and any progress quickly can be undone with another coat of paint, costing beachgoers valuable parking spaces during the summer season.

A city spokesperson told FOX 5 that on Friday, crews will remove the paint from the north side of Camino Del Collardo between El Paseo Grande and La Jolla Shores Drive.

Foundation officials are calling on the public to report “suspicious red curbing” and other similar losses of parking spaces to or by calling 858-800-2282.