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City Council members will deliberate Tuesday an ordinance to allow private fitness trainers to offer camps or classes in public parks or beaches if they pay a fee and maintain a permit.
Friends Of Palisades Park
City Council members will deliberate Tuesday an ordinance to allow private fitness trainers to offer camps or classes in public parks or beaches if they pay a fee and maintain a permit.

News, City Council, Fitness, Santa Monica, Palisades Park

Outdoor Fitness Ordinance On Santa Monica City Council Docket Tuesday

Posted Oct. 7, 2013, 8:59 am

Parimal M. Rohit / Staff Writer

Staying in shape is not always free or cheap. Those providing fitness services within Santa Monica may have to dole out some extra cash if they want to continue providing outdoor fitness classes overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The Santa Monica City Council will deliberate at its Tuesday meeting an ordinance to allow private fitness trainers to offer camps or classes in public parks or beaches if they pay a fee and maintain a permit.

If approved, the new permitting regulation could bring as much as $63,000 in revenues to City Hall.

According to City staff, the new ordinance, if approved, would make it “unlawful for any person to provide fitness or athletic instruction, classes or camps for compensation in City parks or Santa Monica State Beach without City authorization.”

Also addressed in the proposed ordinance are the “use of heavy equipment in parks,” where commercial instruction is not permitted, and regulations governing group instruction at Palisades Park.

Under the proposed ordinance, private fitness trainers would have to pay between $100 and $150 annually in permitting fees plus 10 to 15 percent of their respective gross receipts to use space at designated public areas to teach individuals or small groups.

The proposed permitting and regulatory system would be tested as part of a one-year pilot program if council members approve the ordinance.

Fitness activities included within the proposed ordinance are traditional exercise, tai-chi, yoga, soccer, karate, boxing, and, as stated by City staff, “other types of athletic activities.”

A key area regulated by the proposed ordinance is Palisades Park and the California Incline area, where group training has been observed both by this writer as well as others who have spoken with The Mirror.

Accordingly, the proposed ordinance outlines four zones at Palisades Park where group training would be ideal: Palisades Avenue north of Alta Avenue; Montana Avenue north to Palisades Avenue; the area immediately north of Idaho Avenue; and, Wilshire Boulevard north to the public restroom.

The fourth zone between Wilshire Boulevard and the first public restroom of Palisades Park just north of the thoroughfare is the only zone below the California Incline.

Group instruction at Palisades Park could include as few as two people but never more than 15, as proposed by the ordinance.

Also included within the proposed ordinance: fitness instruction cannot take place before 6 am or after 9 pm; equipment used at Palisades Park cannot exceed 25 pounds; and, physical or athletic instruction cannot take place at Goose Egg Park, Ashland Park, Beach Park 3, Chess Park, and Ken Genser Square.

Private fitness classes, irrespective of size, at public parks and beaches have been prohibited or heavily regulated in other cities.

For example, all private trainers in Redondo Beach are required to contract with the city and offer their services through city-sponsored classes.

In Manhattan Beach, private trainers are screened and are limited as to when and where they may conduct their classes.

Los Angeles and Culver City assess hourly rates or charge private trainers “a percentage of gross receipts for commercial fitness activity and camps.”

Council members will also vote on a development agreement (DA) for a proposed mixed-use project at 401 Broadway. A developer proposes to bring a five-story building to Fourth and Broadway to house 56 residential units and 4,159 square feet of ground floor commercial space.

The Oct. 8 agenda also includes a proposed ordinance updating City law to exempt drivers of electric and other low- or zero-emission vehicles from making payments at parking meters within Santa Monica.

Input from council members, residents, and the community at large will be included in The Mirror’s upcoming coverage of these issues throughout October.

Post a comment


Oct. 7, 2013, 3:51:10 pm

Jill said...

Quality of life or money?. I have lived in Santa Monica for 40yrs. and never leave my Ocean Park Blvd. home to go west. My friends who visit beg me not to make them go downtown SM to look at the ocean. We drive east to downtown L.A. and look at the history of L.A.

Oct. 7, 2013, 10:10:07 am

Sue McHugh said...

Still think private classes in public places should simply be prohibited.

Oct. 8, 2013, 11:05:16 am

Money said...

Way too congested in the park/beach areas with all these fitness classes.

Oct. 8, 2013, 11:08:57 am

Tim Post said...

It's obnoxious and has eliminated the "peaceful" morning strolls of those who want to enjoy the beach area. You simply can't get through all the people and yelling. I hope they limit how many permits so they can control all of this mess. But knowing Santa Monica city council they will go with the money and sell as many permits as they can. The beaches and parks will now be commercial gyms.

Oct. 8, 2013, 11:10:54 am

Eat it said...

One more reason Santa Monica sucks. It's just too urban now. Too much traffic, too many people and too much bum urine. Soon the crime rate will spike and it will be no different than downtown LA with a scummy beach. Time to get out while you can.

Oct. 9, 2013, 11:32:48 am

boot camp member said...

You're all full of crap. 1/2 of you don't even go out, you just don't want people doing things in "your" neighborhood and you need something to complain about. I've been doing boot camp in Palisades park for years early in the AM and there's hardly anyone around and we keep our distance from people that are out there. We're quiet, respectful, don't take up too much space, and we always clean up after ourselves. Just because you don't understand something and you think you know something or had ONE bad interaction with a bad seed, doesn't mean you have the right to mess with us just because. But good luck with the return of homeless people to the park in the morning in droves. That will give you something else to complain about soon enough.

Oct. 9, 2013, 11:34:33 am

Arran said...

I know this isn't the popular opinion. Parks should be as open and non restrictive as possible. Free concerts, wifi, selling snacks and bevs, Picnics, bbqs, ball games, meetings, classes ,naps, drinking, and smoking. When you travel you see this is standard and works very well for all. Instead of just a few types you get the whole city out on a sunny day, creating community. Why should the parks only be used by the stroller set and the bums, we all pay for the maintenance and the more who enjoy them the better.

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