JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla.-- Solutions to parking problems in Jacksonville Beach have been a long time coming, and new Mayor Charlie Latham says he's now making it his top priority and wants your input.
Latham spoke with neighbors at the first of three parking workshops in Jacksonville Beach on Wednesday night. He says he wants to find fixes from the people who know the beach best: the people who live there.
"We learned a few things," said Latham. "If you think about it, we are a small town of 22,000 people. We have a huge influx of visitors from other areas. And it's our responsibility as a city to provide, good, safe parking options and at the same time provide a scenario that will not penalize the businesses by putting financial roadblocks to having their seats filled in the restaurants and in the pubs."
The three most common suggestions that came up; a validation system providing free parking for those who eat and shop at the beach, with the hope of building business. Also, more public parking to keep visitors off private property. And finally, free parking for those who live and pay taxes at the beach.
Two more parking workshops are in the works. The mayor hopes to host them in the coming weeks.