SANTA MONICA—A dispute is taking place in regard to
Santa Monica’s response to complaints made about the various yoga classes, hula hooping sessions and boot camps being held at the city’s public parks and beaches.
Many residents and park-goers have made complaints to the City Council, arguing that these areas are not outdoor gyms and should not be used for commercial use. Those opposed to out door fitness sessions have also noted the high amount of damage done from excessive use these grassed areas.
In response to these complaints, the city will be holding a meeting sometime in March to discuss options that would limit the amount of personal fitness programs being held in these public areas. One consideration is to charge $100 per year for a permit to hold outdoor classes, and for the city to take 15 percent of profit from the businesses conducting these classes.
A group called the Santa Monica Outdoor Fitness Coalition has formed and is putting up a fight against the proposed actions. The coalition is made up of seven personal trainers who represent 450 clients in the area. According to Hype Performance’s official website, they have suggested alternate recommendations including an option for fitness-related community service in lieu of the 15% fee, the addition of an Outdoor Health & Fitness Advisory Committee to the Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commission, “and deferment of the recommendation to limit fitness class size in Palisades Park until the newly formed Outdoor Health & Fitness Advisory Council can provide meaningful recommendations to the City Council on specific regulations unique to Palisades Park..”
The coalition argues that these classes generate revenue for the city through businesses’ taxes, the price for parking that their clients pay, meals that are purchased in the area before and after workout sessions, clients filling up cars in the area and dropping off dry cleaning. Lastly, they promote and encourage healthy lifestyles for residents of