After deferring a vote on parks usage over and over again, the University Park City Council finally voted to amend the ordinance.
The city posted the most recent draft on its website Friday, and by that time, the public response had trickled from February’s 500-signature petition to one or two emails. It seemed an agreement was nearly reached.
But even in the work session just prior to Tuesday’s meeting, kinks had to be worked out regarding instructor fees.
Originally, Friday’s draft capped boot camp sessions to six-week increments, and the fees were $50 for 1-10 attendees, $100 for 11-25, and $500 for 25-40 per six-week session.
“If that [price] was per session, I would be forced to leave UP,” said Meredith Boyd, who is a University Park resident and Camp Gladiator instructor. “If it was $500 per session, that would force people like me out.”
The argument circled back to the original complaints. On the one hand, instructors who monopolize courts and parks keep residents from using the facilities. But on the other, too-strict regulations could drive sought-after instructors out.
“Any fee is going to weed out somebody,” Councilwoman Dawn Moore said. “There’s really no magic level.”
Ultimately, the council’s goal has been to benefit the residents, and has been since the issue first came up at a Park Advisory Board meeting in February.
“We want our citizens to be able to use our parks,” Moore added. “It does displace our citizens. It just does.”
Councilman Bob Begert suggested deleting one phrase on reserving park sites to avoid conflicting language, and adding the phrase “yearly fee” to resolve the prior issue.
Though there was an opportunity for public input during the meeting, no one spoke. Five months in the making, the amendments passed unanimously.