Parking permits allow motorists to park in the municipal lots and in individual parking spots in the street.


There will be a price increase for Sea Isle City’s highly coveted seasonal parking permits, but it won’t be as steep as originally proposed.

Responding to complaints from local residents about alleged price gouging, City Council on Tuesday approved raising the fee for parking permits from $250 to $350 each.

Initially, the plan was to increase the price from $250 to $450, but residents strongly complained to the Council members that senior citizens living on fixed incomes would not be able to afford such a significant price hike.

“Two hundred dollars is a lot of money for people on a fixed income,” Sea Isle resident Doug Adams said of the original plan to raise the price from $250 to $450.

Adams was one of a handful of local residents who publicly urged Council to table an ordinance authorizing the price increase. Residents argued that Sea Isle should study the issue further before any price increase was considered.

“I’m only asking you to look at it again. Table it,” resident Jim McCullough pleaded with Council.

Although the ordinance wasn’t tabled, Council compromised by approving a smaller increase in the parking permit fee following a nearly 50-minute public discussion.

Sea Isle resident Jim McCullough urges Council to table the price hike to give more time for a closer look at the parking program.

City officials assured the public that Sea Isle does not want to raise the permit fee, but needs to generate additional revenue to keep the parking program self-sufficient.

“We get no joy out of raising anything. No politician does,” Council President J.B. Feeley told the residents.

When pressed by residents to state how much the parking program costs to operate each year, city officials said they did not immediately have that information.

“How can you run a program and not know how much it costs?” McCullough asked incredulously.

As an alternative to the price increase, some members of the public suggested that senior citizens who are year-round Sea Isle residents should be able to buy parking permits at the original cost of $250.

However, City Solicitor Paul Baldini said it would be illegal for Sea Isle to establish a price that would be available to residents but not for nonresidents. Baldini noted that the courts decided in a case involving beach tag fees about 40 years ago that municipalities cannot favor residents over nonresidents with special prices.

Parking is at a premium during Sea Isle’s bustling summer tourism season, making the permits a highly coveted prize. The city forbids the parking permits from being resold.

The seasonal permits routinely sell out each year, with demand particularly heavy on the first day they go on sale by the city in April. They are sold on a first come, first served basis.

City Council President J.B. Feeley says the parking permits are still a bargain, even with the price increase.

Normally, 400 or 500 seasonal parking permits are sold by the city each year. For 2024, the number will be capped at 450. Customers will be limited to no more than three seasonal parking permits each. The permits will be transferrable from vehicle to vehicle, according to the new ordinance.

Sea Isle also sells weekly parking permits. The price for weekly permits will rise from $50 to $80 each for this summer. There is no limit on the number of weekly permits that motorists may buy.

Sea Isle charges for parking from May 15 to Labor Day. The seasonal and weekly permits allow drivers to park in the municipal lots and individual parking spaces. They save motorists from the headache of worrying about getting a parking ticket.

Feeley and Councilwoman Mary Tighe said even with the price increase, the seasonal permits are a bargain compared to how much it would cost to use the individual parking spaces over the entire summer. They said the average parking space generates $1,400 in revenue for the city each summer.

“It’s still a deal,” Feeley said of the cost of parking permits in an interview after the Council meeting.

Tighe said that Sea Isle would remain competitive with the price for parking permits in surrounding shore towns, even with the increase approved Tuesday.

Parking permits routinely sell out each year.

Parking permits will be “hanger type” placards that must be displayed on a vehicle’s rear-view mirror. Motorists who don’t properly display the permits will risk getting a parking ticket, Feeley said.

Drivers who don’t have seasonal or weekly parking permits must pay using the cashless ParkMobile app that was introduced in Sea Isle in 2021. Sea Isle got rid of its old parking meters and kiosks in 2022 while transitioning to the ParkMobile system.

There is another option for people who may not feel comfortable using the app. They may call a toll-free number listed on the ParkMobile signs to speak to the company’s customer service center and use their credit card to pay for parking over the phone.