This story was updated at 5 a.m. April 11 with new information out of the prior night's City Council meeting.
Sweat it out while you can.
The Santa Monica City Council voted Tuesday to consider a ban on large fitness equipment at public parks.
Regulations are proposed by the city's Community and Cultural Services Department, where staffers say they've fielded complaints that boot camps and fitness classes attaching exercise bands and damaging light poles, railings, picnic tables, park benches and trees and other public property.
There are also concerns that free weights, massage tables, yoga mats and other portable equipment are tearing up the turf, staffers said.
The proposal is to restrict equipment that is longer than 4 feet or weighs more than 25 pounds. It is aimed at for-profit groups.
Here's what the ordinance, as proposed, reads:
No person shall place any equipment, such as weight benches, massage tables, or weight lifting equipment, that is longer than four-feet or weighing more than twenty-five (25) pounds within any City park without prior authorization by the Director.
"If you are an individual showing up with a yoga mat, chances are you aren’t going to be cited," Community and Cultural Services Director Karen Ginsberg told the council.
But the council said it wants assurances that only for-profit fitness classes will be targeted, and asked staffers to write that into the code before they approve it.
"I hope whatever we pass will not prevent people from exercising in the park," said Councilman Bobby Shriver.
Restrictions on the use of exercise equipment are already in place on the Fourth Street median and parkways near the Adelaide Stairs. Those rules were adopted in the spring of 2010.
"Consequently, equipment users have moved their activities to nearby city parks where exercise equipment is not prohibited," staffers wrote in a memo to the council. "Exercise equipment is now regularly used in city parks, especially at the northern end of Palisades Park."
In the memo, staffers said community members also regularly complain that the camps and classes are making a profit on public property without compensating the city. There's also complaints that trainers yell loudly at their clients, disturbing nearby residents, who also say they the camps take up too much space.
An ordinance regulating the fitness equipment are proposed along with a number of clean-up tweaks to park and beach codes. Two of the biggest changes are:
- Rules pertaining to the destruction of foliage and facilities, regulating golf and keeping pathways clear at parks, also be extended to apply to Santa Monica beach;
- Require tennis instructors to obtain business licenses;
- Implement penalties—ranging from misdemeanors to infractions to administrative citations—for violating the new park and beach codes.