State officials to present beach fees plan in Santa Rosa

State parks officials are likely to face another skeptical audience in Santa Rosa next week over their controversial proposal to increase the number of beaches on the Sonoma Coast where visitors would be charged for parking.

Tuesday's public hearing at the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors comes nine months after supervisors adopted a resolution opposing the fees.

West County Supervisor Efren Carrillo, whose district includes the beaches where the new fees are proposed, did not soften his stance this week, calling the plan "absolutely unacceptable."

Nevertheless, state officials again will make their case that additional day-use fees are needed to maintain or restore services on the Sonoma Coast and to fulfill a legislative mandate for state parks to develop new sources of revenue.

The state is seeking permission to install 15 self-pay machines at beaches on the Sonoma Coast. The latest iteration of the plan calls for a flat $7 fee for parking, which is $1 less than what the state originally proposed and is equal to what the county charges at its regional parks.

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