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Passage of the State Parks Prop Could Mean Free Parking at Santa Monica Beaches

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Parking aside the Santa Monica Pier | Photo by GarySe7en via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
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Although no ranger greets you when you enter, Santa Monica Beach is a state park, one that is operated by the City of Santa Monica. So if voters decide this November to approve a state parks ballot prop that would add an $18 fee to annual vehicle registrations and lift parking fees at parks, the lots at Santa Monica's beach would become an even more popular place.

Officials tell the Santa Monica Daily Press it could be a "logistical nightmare" to adapt to the rules that would go into affect in mid 2011. The beach has 5,000 parking spaces, which rakes in $6 million for the city's upkeep of the beaches.

Although the prop would refund local entities, it's unknown how much money they would get. And under Santa Monica's parking plan, city garages along the 3rd Street Promenade would still cost users, which has some asking if people will be willing to skip the much closer lots for free parking.

For the Record: The original headline stated parking "would" be free. Based on discussions in the comments section, it has been changed to "could."