Claremont's recently adopted park permit ordinance and fee structure is not about excluding anyone from Claremont's parks. It is about managing some serious impacts that threaten the very qualities that make our parks so attractive to such a wide diversity of people.
Under the ordinance, the vast majority of individuals and families, residents and non-residents alike, will continue to be able to use and enjoy the public parks in our community just as they always have.
No reservation or fees will be required of gatherings of less than 50 people, a limit that birthday parties or most other family occasions seldom exceed. Similarly, groups of up to 300 people from Claremont public schools and local religious or community organizations are allowed to use park facilities without paying a fee.
Gatherings of fewer than 50 people will have the option of reserving specific facilities within designated park areas. Our experience over the last 18 months shows that there is a very high demand for this type of convenience.
In return, non-resident small groups will be asked to cover the extra costs associated with providing this convenience by paying a reasonable fee, a policy in keeping with the community philosophy that everyone pay their fair share for services received.
The primary focus of the park permit ordinance is to address impacts created by groups of more than 50 people, regardless of where they are from. Because Claremont's parks are attractive and well-maintained, we have seen an increase in the number of large groups using them. The resulting impacts not only affect the parks but the surrounding residents and neighborhoods as well.
By developing a reservation system, fee structure and enforcement procedure that address these impacts, the city will be better able to maintain the quality of our parks and surrounding neighborhoods. Parks that are poorly maintained are of little benefit to anyone and can serve to undermine the value of nearby areas, if not the entire community.
The city is committed to having public parks and recreational programs that are inclusive in nature. It is our goal to further that commitment by implementing a park permit ordinance that balances the desire to have parks that can be enjoyed by everyone with the economic reality of maintaining parks that everyone wants to enjoy.
Mayor , Cl aremont