JUPITER, Fla— — The signs notifying visitors they would soon have to start dishing out cash to park at Dubois Park have been taken down after Palm Beach County Commissioners decided to reverse their decision.
“That would have been disappointing to come here and pay $15 or whatever the fee is to just come here for a few minutes,” said visitor Kristin Melton.
Melton grew up in Jupiter but she currently lives in the Tampa area. However, any chance she gets she brings her young daughter to one of her favorite childhood spots.
“One of the main things we wanted to do was come over and park at the inlet, have a sandwich, have a little picnic, which we did even though it was raining,” said Melton.
Rain or shine, starting March 1st county residents were going to have to pay $10 a day, and out of town guests $20.
Yet, after a lot of public outcries and the Jupiter’s town council stepping forward, new ideas are being discussed to deal with overcrowding.
“It looks like they are going to take a very thoughtful approach for a resolution whatever that is,” said Jupiter Vice Mayor Ron Delaney.
Both the town and county agree overcrowding is becoming a safety issue, especially for lifeguards. Yet the town believes forcing people to pay isn’t going to resolve the problem.
“The fear is if people are forced out of parking at the park they are going to park at the inlet village, where we already have parking issues as it is, there’s a shortage of parking in this area,” said Delaney.
County commissioners said they are looking into a manned access gate to limit the number of cars each day. However, the county acknowledges they don’t have the resources to implement their idea and would need help from the Jupiter Police Department.
“The parks complicated because there’s several access points you have one for vehicles and there’s several pedestrian access points,” said Delaney.
While nothing is finalized and ideas are still being tossed around, Jupiter’s vice mayor says he’s focused on keeping your money in your pocket.
“And a lot of people are concerned that people that can’t afford to live on the water are slowing losing access to free access to the water and this is a very unique park where people can come here and spend the day,” said Delaney.
Don’t expect any changes to happen overnight. This is up for discussion at Jupiter’s town council meeting on Tuesday but commissioners won’t be addressing this again until their March 12 meeting.