The Santa Monica Outdoor Fitness Coalition Proposal

On April 23, the Santa Monica City Council will vote on a proposal to charge outdoor fitness trainers up to 15% of their annual revenues for use of public parks as well as banning group fitness training in Palisades Park.

The Santa Monica Outdoor Fitness Coalition is proposing a series of alternate recommendations that represent win-win solutions for the city, small business owners and residents who use public parks.

The Coalition’s proposals include imposing a balanced use fee structure of 5% of gross receipts paid annually upon permit renewal by all registered personal fitness trainers. We understand tennis, soccer, volley ball, and surf instructors are required to pay slightly more in use fees, but they are using specific park services/facilities such as lifeguard oversight, tennis and volleyball courts and ball fields. This prevents other members of the community from using those facilities while they’re training. This exclusivity should require a higher use fee. Personal trainers are simply using available park space that is not currently occupied by other park users.

Additionally, group fitness training in Palisades Park should continue to be permitted, but with significant restrictions on equipment allowed. As city representatives themselves have observed, one-on-one and one-on-two trainers are some of the worst offenders with respect to using equipment inappropriately, and in ways that damage park structures and foliage. Banning group training will not solve this problem, which is why the proposal to ban group training in Palisades makes no sense. Our Coalition’s recommendation of significantly restricting permitted equipment will solve the problem.

Outdoor fitness classes generate revenue for our city, provide security and presence in our parks, and encourage and facilitate the healthy lifestyle so important to Santa Monica residents.

There is much that can be done to partner with the City of Santa Monica, the community and small businesses to facilitate equitable use and preservation of public park spaces ensuring accessibility and enjoyment for all. That’s the goal new regulations should seek to achieve, and we hope that’s the goal the Santa Monica City Council will work towards when they meet on April 23.

If you support the efforts of the Santa Monica Outdoor Fitness Coalition please sign our petition by clicking HERE.

Or show your support by writing directly to the Santa Monica City Council Members by clicking HERE.

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