Grand Haven approves parking fee at beach lot

City Beach Park in Grand Haven on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Haven City Council approved a measure to charge for parking at a popular lot during certain weekends.

City council members voted 3-2 on Monday to charge $10 for parking at the Grand Haven City Beach lot on certain “peak beach days.”

Drivers will now have to pay to park at the lot — located between the Grand Haven State Park and Bil Mar restaurant — on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays when weather is nice. Parking at the lot had previously been free.

Grand Haven residents can get a pass at city hall to be exempt from paying the fee.

“I think it’s going to create ill will. I don’t think it’s indicative of the friendliest seaside city. It’s not very friendly to our township residents,” said Mayor Geri McCaleb, who voted against the measure.

An employee will be at the 61-spot parking lot to collect the $10 fee. All proceeds collected this summer will go towards the fund to repair the Grand Haven pier’s catwalk.

“I think this is a great opportunity for the catwalk to raise, I don’t know, $15,000 to $20,000 over this summer. A staff person and overhead cost are minimal to the amount of money that we can bring in to put the catwalk back up,” said council member Josh Brugger, who voted for the proposal.

“I think that you need to analyze what this is really going to cost to administer the program in total. I think that you’re probably, at best, you might do a little better than break even over time,” said council member Bob Monetza, who voted against the proposal. “You’re trying to raise some money on parking lot that is going to be eaten up by trying to administer that parking program.”