CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Many say a day at the beach can be calming but if you're not prepared, it could backfire.
“I had a lot of frustration because this is what we’re doing to our tourists here,” Corpus Christi resident Scott Nichols said.
At Packery Channel Park locals, fishermen, surfers, and tourists park up and down the beach.
“Any vehicle if it has wheels or a motor would require a beach parking permit,” said Lisa Oliver, the city's interim Parks and Recreation director.
Oliver says the number of parking permits sold decreased in 2020, compared to 2018 when a total of 84,466 permits were sold.
However, it's too early to know if citations increased or decreased comparing the recent spring break to 2020.
The $12 permit can be bought at a number of locations but some say they are not aware one is needed.
“We didn’t see any signs warning us about this," Nichols said. "We got out of our car, walked down the beach, came back and now we’re fined $150."
Nichols says he always had a beach parking permit, but when it expired he says he was given a ticket at the beginning of the year without warning.
“Is this the process that everyone has to go through," says Nichols. "You have to go see the judge, show him that you got a new sticker, all for a $12 sticker?”
When someone is ticketed, Oliver says the citation is processed through a municipal court or administrative hearing. Nichols recalls his citation was for $150.
“So we would hope that there’s many opportunities for residents and visitors to purchase their beach parking permit,” said Oliver.
We tried to get in touch with beach patrol to find out if parking permit requirements are being enforced more this year than in years past, but could not get in touch with officials.
For Corpus Christi, Port Aransas and Nueces County beaches, a parking permit is required.
Parking permits are sold year-round at Stripes stores located at Padre Island, Flour Bluff and select stores in Central Corpus Christi. Other purchase locations include H-E-B stores around the beach area in Aransas Pass, Corpus Christi, Portland and Rockport.
TAMUCC and City Hall also have parking permits available for purchase.
If you are already at the beach, parking permits are sold on-site or through a beach patrol officer.
For additional information about beach parking permits, click here.