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Santa Monica To Begin Charging Fitness Instructors To Train In Parks

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Photo of the Santa Monica Pier's amusement park from the air by Atwater Village Newbie via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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On Tuesday night, the Santa Monica City Council voted 5-1 to set restrictions on fitness instructors who hold classes or private sessions in the city's public parks. The move came after residents complained that trainers were taking over the parks and pushing out locals.

According to the LA Times, the issue has been in front of the council since earlier this year, when regulatory guidelines surrounding the use of parks for fitness classes were initially drawn up. The guidelines—and complaints—have focused primarily on Palisades Park, a 117-acre open space that's open seven days a week, from dawn to dusk.

At Tuesday's meeting, council members were still divided over whether to let trainers use the parks or not. They eventually reached a compromise in which workout classes will be prohibited on Sundays, and trainers will have to pay an annual fee to use the public areas.

Those fees will be based on a sliding scale, reports Fox News, but will likely start around several hundred dollars.

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Trainers will also have restrictions on what type of equipment they can use, and how many students will be allowed to participate in a given class.

Residents have been vocal about their distaste for exercise classes being held in public outdoor spaces. Claiming that barbells and other fitness paraphernalia is regularly left lying around parks and beaches, former Olympic track star Johnny Gray told the Huffington Post that, "It's starting to look like a 24 Hour Fitness gym out there."

The new regulations require review before they become law. Council members will likely take the issue up again in one year.