UNIVERSITY PARK (CBSDFW.COM) - University Park council is considering requiring permits for personal trainers and boot camps to use the city’s parks.
The North Texas city is just the latest to consider regulating private businesses that use public parks for profit.
While city council is still tweaking the proposal, a city spokesperson said a permit system was first considered after some residents complained about not being able to use some park facilities because they were tied up by private training sessions.
Kathleen Duff of Dallas has been giving private soccer lessons to kids in University Park for the past decade.
Most of her training sessions take place at one of the city’s parks.
Under the proposal, she would be required to pay for a permit to continue training her athletes at the park.
The proposal would pertain to one-on-one personal trainers as well as instructors of large group classes.
“Where do you draw the line,” said Duff. “If tutors come out here and train for Spanish, are they a coach? Photographers – they make (a lot) of cash out here.”
Other cities face the same debate of private businesses profiting on public parks.
The City of Plano requires a $25 permit for personal trainers to use the city’s parks and often restricts what park trainers can use.
The city’s park department worries if not restricted large private classes could leave little to no room for other park goers.
However, Terrance Wright with the Plano Parks and Recreation Department said enforcement has been a challenge.
“It’s extremely difficult,” he said. “I’ve approached people and they just say we’re a bunch of fitness friends and that’s fine. That’s your right as citizens.”