Mommy fitness groups to pay for Denver Parks permits even if they're only using trails?

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Fit4Mom Greater Denver Facebook
Some local moms -- and other fitness enthusiasts, too -- have been sweating potential changes to Denver Parks and Recreation's permit-fee structure for almost a year, ever since DPR announced that all groups hosting exercise classes on the city's turf would have to pay for a permit, regardless of whether they're only using the trails. After a three-month hiatus, the new rates, accessible on the DPR website, have been approved by the Parks and Rec advisory board -- and earlier today, a Denver City Council committee approved them, too.

As now proposed, permit fees would depend on several factors, including the location of the park, the number of participants and whether the activity is "turf or trail." Groups that want to exercise at a Tier 1 park -- Sloan's Lake, City Park or Washington Park -- will pay either $50 to $100, depending on the number of participants. Those holding classes with six to 25 participants will pay twice as much for turf (a single location) as trail. The highest fee would be $300 for a class of six to 25 participants on Tier 1 turf.

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Fit 4 Mom Greater Denver Facebook page
Permits will be issued by season, with fees paid once every six months.

Anyone holding class with more than 25 participants would be in violation of the policy."There would be a warning initially by park ranger," says Parks and Rec spokeswoman Angela Casias says. "And a citation if it happened again."

Now that the committee has approved the policy, the issue will move on to a mayor/council meeting, Casias notes, and then the full Denver City Council, where it could have a first reading as early as Monday, November 4. If approved, the new permitting fees would take effect in January.

"At this point, I know there are definitely people with strong viewpoints on either side," Casias says. "But for the most part, we feel like we have a policy and fee structure the majority of people will be happy with."

The proposed fees have been vetted several times through a stakeholder's group and the advisory board, she points out: "We feel confident in the final product."

More from The Latest Word archive circa July: "Denver Parks permit policy headed for vote: Will mommies need to pay to push strollers?"

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17 comments
Michael P Lee
Michael P Lee

Just like the weed smokers. Pay up or get out.

Karen Derrick-Davis
Karen Derrick-Davis

I see both sides of this argument. However, those business owners who charge for classes held in public places are getting an advantage over those businesses that use their own space (which costs them money). People currently have to pay to use Rec Centers for paid groups. I don't see the difference.

Bill
Bill

This is a joke, of course. The leader of the group/small business and all those participating should conveniently forget their IDs. When the park Nazis come along, just like they do with dogs off-lease, say you don't have ID, have a fake address in your head and tell them your name is Ivan Paul Freeley (or the moms, Ivana Paulina Freeley) but your friends call you I.P Freeley.

Joshua David
Joshua David

are these people not already paying taxes?

Chad Kreutzer
Chad Kreutzer

From what I understand, it is not that they are using them to exercise. It is that the people running these exercise groups, which they charge participants to take part in, are using the parks essentially for profit for free. And if you look at Denver Park and Rec's website, There are many activities for which you need to pay rental for or get a permit--even if you aren't for profit like these people are. They have been benefiting financially from a loophole. I see no problem with closing that loophole. http://www.denvergov.org/parksandrecreation/DenverParksandRecreation/RentalsPermits/tabid/443649/Default.aspx

Ronda Cottonwood
Ronda Cottonwood

Well maybe we should all start businesses at the parks" rent free" and just have some restaurants and car lots and day care centers and maybe even a dry cleaner too :) haha

Ronda Cottonwood
Ronda Cottonwood

and another thing....they keep using the word "mommy" to get peoples sympathy....I am not sure "mommys" are who is profiting off these workout/fitness classes being run from the public parks

Ronda Cottonwood
Ronda Cottonwood

yes...if someone gets hurt at the park while working out with a a trainer who is charging them but using the parks for free.....who does the person sue?....better not be the city or county of the park they are using for free....our tax dollars should not be used so others can run businesses for free at these parks.... and the trainer running a business on public land because they are too cheap to rent or buy a building.......not to mention the damage to the grass when so many people are using the same spot day in and day out....and the facilites being used at the parks......just my opinion :)

Jane Wallace
Jane Wallace

Ok!! Chad the parks are for everyone to use!!! Who cares if they are using the parks to exercise!!!

Josh Serdafide Serda
Josh Serdafide Serda

Make all those freeloading people pay to use the park like any other person would to reserve it for a bday party or anything else, fuckin cheap skates, this is why America is broke, cause all of the freeloaders that want shit free, fuck them, make them pay!

Lynn Teasley
Lynn Teasley

These generally are pay groups. And you can tell. Trust me.

Chad Kreutzer
Chad Kreutzer

Depends. Are these pay groups? Then yes, they're doing business and should get permits. If they aren't, then I don't see how you could differentiate them from a group of friends getting together for a walk and, although I'm open to arguments to the contrary, I don't see why they should pay.

davebarnes
davebarnes topcommenter

This fee structure is insane. This is government trying to destroy small business.

DougHubka
DougHubka

@davebarnes  Oh Please. So we have a small business that takes the revenue and then lets the taxpayers pick up the expense.  Never mind, that sounds like a big business.

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