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Pay-for-parking plan a longshot at the beach

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Updated: 10/21/2013 11:46 pm
JACKSONVILLE BEACH Fla.-- A 20-plus page plan drawn out by the City of Jacksonville Beach to force you to pay for parking was challenged Monday night.

Under the plan, spots that have been free for years would be impacted. Thirty five muni-meters would be added between first and third streets.

Local business owners came out and spoke against the plan.

Tom Stevens has owned Beachside swimwear for nearly 30 years. He says paying to park in Jacksonville Beach is a concept he already saw fail in the 80s because it was bad for business.

"They made this the blighted area by doing this half the businesses here left it was a ghost town," he said.

Mayor Charlie Latham says the money made on parking would be used to protect the beach.

"The money that is generated by the paid parking plan would in fact be used to increase and enhance the security downtown," he said.

The plan was not voted on Monday evening, however the council agreed other options are better including keeping parking the way it currently is. Council plans to have more parking workshops on the issue in the future.

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