Cost of parking increases for some at Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Posted at 6:50 PM, Mar 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-08 18:50:10-05

Virginia Beach, Va. - Parking at the Oceanfront is getting more expensive for some people.

People who work at the Oceanfront can get a residential parking permit to park in neighborhoods near their places of employment, but the prices for the permits have gone up.

The old permits cost $25 per year.

Now, it will cost $20 per month for a residential parking permit- which equals $240 per year.

Cindy Flinchum has worked at the Oceanfront for six years. She said, “That is ridiculous it's highway robbery especially for the students that are coming up here.”

The permits are for employees looking to park in the residential areas from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.

City parking officials said last year they gave out about 1,600 of these types of permits. They say the rate increase was made after a study was done and a recommendation was made.

Virginia Beach Parking official Rob Fries said, “The previous amount was pretty low compared to what are some other monthly parking rates are."

He cited permits for parking at Virginia Beach Town Center as being $100 and in other locations being $50 a month.

Barbara Clark is a Resort Beach Civic League member and lives in a neighborhood impacted by the parking. She would like for the city to stop issuing these permits altogether. She said finding a spot in the peak tourist season is difficult.

“It makes for a very competitive environment and that is not conducive to tranquility in the neighborhoods or public safety," she said.

She thinks it should be the responsibility of the employer to provide parking. She said some employees using these permits make noise at all hours of the night.

The city said they are working to promote other means of transportation to ease parking issues.

Workers like Cindy Flinchum say the increase is unfair. “Without us working up here or stores wouldn't be open and in the city wouldn't have any money,” she said.

The season peaks between May and Labor Day, when the city sees the most beach goers and the most workers trying to find spots.

In the past, many of the employers paid for the employees' parking permits, but the new program is geared towards having the employees sign up for the permits themselves, so it will be up to the individual businesses to determine who pays for the permits.