North Texas

Little Elm to Charge Parking Fee for Weekend Beachgoers

Money raised will help pay for extra trash pickup, maintenance and extra police patrols

There aren't a whole lot of sandy beaches in North Texas. On weekends, Little Elm Beach gets busy.[[483078801,R]]

Beginning Memorial Day weekend, folks who want to park in the lot at the beach will have to pay a ten dollar fee on Saturdays and Sundays.

"This place is terrific," said Debbie Urban of Denton, as she watched over a small group of kids, including her own, playing in the water.

It's that water — and rare-to-this-area sand — which draws a crowd. Especially on weekends.

"We're out here as many times as we can," said Urban. 

Town Manager Matt Mueller said the money raised from the parking fee will help pay for extra trash pickup, maintenance and extra police patrols necessary because of the big crowds.

"To me it would be worth it." said Urban. "It's a great facility. They keep it clean, so if that means ten dollars for parking I say go for it."

Most beachgoers we spoke to agree.

"If it's going to the community, and they're giving us such a great amazing park, why would we care?" asked Mike McQuade of Little Elm, who says he comes to the beach about three times a week.

Some people who didn't want to go on camera said they think the fee is a bad idea. One man called it "ridiculous." Another said he'd likely take his family elsewhere. Some slammed the idea on social media sites. 

The town previously charged a smaller fee for beach parking, said Mueller, but did away with it about five years ago.

For those who don't want to pay, there are other parking options, and a shuttle, which can bring folks to the beach. Town of Little Elm residents also have the option of buying a $25 season pass.  For non-residents, the cost is $75.

Urban says that's okay with her.  

"It's great," she said. "We love it here, and we're gonna be here all summer long."

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