Paid parking lot in the City of Destin (Destin Public Info Office)

Destin City Council increases paid parking fees for Harbor and beach areas, residents remain free

Paid parking lot in the City of Destin (Destin Public Info Office)

The Destin City Council has made changes to the city’s paid parking program, which will affect both the Harbor and beach parking areas. The decision was made during a council meeting held on Monday, March 6, 2023.

The paid parking program was expanded in 2020 to include beach parking areas south of Highway 98, in addition to the Harbor District in the Zerbe, Marler, and Community Center parking lots.

  • The flat rates for these areas were established as $5 for 24 hours for the Harbor District and $5 for 5 hours for the beach areas.
  • Some privately-owned paid lots south of Highway 98 are considering charging $10-$20 per day, with hourly charges after a minimum time, according to the city.

City staff worked to improve the paid parking program in 2021 through better physical and digital wayfinding. According to the city, these efforts paid off as the usage of the Marler parking lot increased by approximately 320% for the 100 days of summer in 2021, compared to 2020, which was partly due to COVID-19.

In 2022, the city provided free resident passes for full-time residents, resulting in a 10% reduction in paid parking revenue. However, the Harbor District brought in 47% ($200,000) of the total paid parking revenue, while the beach district brought in about 53% ($225,000).

  • The City also established a designated fund for the paid parking program, dedicating all parking fund revenues to parking infrastructure.

After much discussion, the council ultimately decided to increase the Harbor Parking Fees to $20 per day and the beach parking fees to $20 for four hours. The fines for illegal parking will now be $100.

  • NOTE: All City of Destin full-time residents get two free parking passes for their vehicles.

The City estimates that these fees updates will go into effect sometime in mid-May and staff will provide the council with an update in August to determine if future changes are necessary.

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