SANTA MONICA — The city of Santa Monica has issued a new rule in which anyone providing fitness or athletic training for profit in a public park or beach must have a city permit and follow additional rules after January 1, 2014. The purpose of the new rule is to ensure that everyone can enjoy the city’s public spaces and that these spaces remain in good condition.

“Complaints had been made that the number and size of fitness classes have grown over recent years with commercial business being conducted on public property without compensation to the City,” said Kathy LePrevost, Community Recreation Manager, to Canyon News. According to LePrevost, people have complained about the noise generated by instructors, the lack of space due to fitness classes taking over large sections of the park and the damage caused on park property.

With the new system in place, commercial fitness and athletic instructors must obtain a city permit, a business license, a police permit if applicable and proof of insurance. “Permit fees will be assessed and a use charge will be required quarterly,” said LePrevost. “New rules have been adopted that specify where and when instruction may occur, address noise concerns, signage and restrictions on equipment weight and use of park amenities.”

Applications for permits as well as a complete list of rules are available at Permits will be issued according to group size and the location’s specific days, times and rules. Classes can be held at the parks from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., with most of those parks allowing large groups (over 10 people, excluding instructors and spectators). Areas that do not allow fitness classes and camps are Ashland Park, Beach Park #4, Chess Park,Euclid Park, Joslyn Park, Ken Genser Square, Muscle Beach Park, Ozone Park,Pacific Street Park, Park Drive Park and Schader Park. Permits cost from $100 to $150 per year and quarterly use costs $225 to $2,025, depending on the group’s size and location. For more information, call the Community Recreation Division at 310-458-8300 or email at

Palisades Park has more specific rules: permits are not valid north ofMarguerita Avenue or on Sundays, and medium and large groups are valid only in certain designated zones, with no more than two groups per zone. Permit applications are available until December 16 at 5:30 p.m., and if more than 20 qualified applications are submitted during this period, a lottery system will be used to distribute permits.