SAN DIEGO — Street sweeping parking tickets in the city of San Diego could soon cost people more. City officials are looking to increase the fee by 30% to help with keeping local waterways clean.
According to the city stormwater department, the last increase was in 2003.
People who spoke with FOX 5 both agree and disagree, but most have a common goal of keeping the ocean clean.
“I love a clean San Diego,” driver Noelle Gramstad said. “I think it’s fair, but I think it could be cleaner.”
Gramstad says “occasionally you will see little pieces of trash.”
“I think our neighborhood does a good job of keeping themselves clean, people pick up after themselves, after trash trucks come and the debris floats around,” she said.
Gramstad supports the city of San Diego wanting to raise street sweeping parking tickets from $52.50 to $68.50. City officials with the stormwater department proposed the increase.
The increase is part of a campaign by San Diego city officials to raise money to comply with state stormwater mandates that will help keep local waterways clean.
“I think depending on folks to break the law to get the additional funding in the budget is not necessarily a good governmental practice,” Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe said. “It would most likely be an additional burden and hardship on folks.”
Montgomery Steppe said everyone is deserving of clean streets. However, with the increase also looking to boost city revenue by $5 million, Montgomery Steppe said this proposal might do the opposite.
“If we are deterring folks from paring illegally in street sweeping by increasing the price, we may have less citations that we give out. So, I don’t see how that is going to can fill that gap, and therefore I don’t think that it’s necessary,” Montgomery Steppe said.
The Surfrider Foundation San Diego County is dedicated to protecting oceans through their weekly beach cleanups. They do see the necessity in increasing fees, from the ocean’s standpoint.
“In San Diego being a coastal city, urban runoff is the most persistent threat to our local waterways. All our pollution ends up in the ocean, it’s not a fair way to treat …despite all the laws and the clean water act, we do treat our ocean as a trash can,” said Mitch Silverstein, the policy coordinator with Surfrider Foundation San Diego County.
The payment options for people who might have trouble paying will also continue with the city.
There is no date set for when the council will vote on the proposal. However, if enacted the new fee will start Jan. 1. The city plans to inform people with fliers on their cars, social media and online through the Water Department’s Think Blue Program.