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Changes coming to beach parking in Naples

When the pandemic began, people from all over went to Naples beaches to enjoy themselves. Now, the city is considering measures that will benefit those who live nearby.

Parking has become a problem for those who actually moved for the beach. Now, you might need a sticker indicating that you live in Collier County to park at the end of some streets that currently allow for visitor parking.

Naples City Council says it’s time to make changes in an effort to catch up with Collier County’s growth. This is especially after Naples beaches were packed with visitors over the summer, which prevented the people who live there from being able to park.

But with more visitors driving down and visiting the beaches, some people are wondering whether these changes will hurt tourism.

Cindy Melfa lives in Naples. “Tourism brings a lot of money this time of year to the community, and you kind of don’t want to make people mad and limit access to a huge asset that we have,” Melfa said.

The most profitable beach parking area in the city is at Naples Pier. Last year, the City of Naples made over $455,000 from that. The second is Lowdermilk Park and coming in third is 5th Avenue Beach parking, making over $85,000.

To offset its costs, the city will be discussing raising the meter hour rates Wednesday from $2.50 to $3.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Drew Hill
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