The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to study how waiving the $6 vehicle entry fee at seven County parks might make them more accessible to low-income residents.
A subcommittee including Supervisor Carole Groom and Supervisor Don Horsley will consider the waiver and related issues, such as how about $1 million in annual vehicle access fees can be replaced. The fees currently are applied toward cleaning restrooms, reducing fire-prone vegetation and maintaining trails, picnic tables and playgrounds, per the County.
The issue came before the board after parks staff recommended waiving the $6 vehicle entry fee for low-income San Mateo County residents enrolled in Medi-Cal, CalFresh and ACE (Access and Care for Everyone, a locally funded health care program).
The Coyote Point Recreation Area, Huddart Park, Sam McDonald Park, Memorial Park, San Pedro Valley Park, Junipero Serra Park and San Bruno Mountain State and County Park currently charge the vehicle entry fee. According to the County, no other parks charge this fee and walk-in/bike-in use is always free at all parks.
In all, San Mateo County Parks oversees 24 parks spanning more than 16,000 acres and 190 miles of county and local trails—including three regional trails—with an annual budget of $26.8 million, said the County.