Professional photographers who use Holbrook-Palmer Park as a backdrop for photo shoots will soon have to pay $100 a day or $500 a month for the privilege under a fee schedule approved by Atherton's City Council on April 20.
The council made a few other changes in the park's fee schedule, including allowing the main house to be rented out on weekends for $250 an hour for as little as two hours, instead of only allowing all-day rentals for $1,500.
The rates for renting out the carriage house will go up if a group is larger than 100 people. The town will also require valet parking for any event with 100 or more people, or if the park has a lot of other users booked during an event. Valet parking is now required with events of 150 or more people.
The town will raise the rate for non-Little League rentals of the baseball field by $5 to $30 an hour, with a two-hour minimum.
"I think there's a point where we're over-marketing our park," council member Bill Widmer said. "We need to have time for our residents to use the park."
The council asked the town staff to watch for six months how the changes affect the availability of the park for residents and report back.
Playschool lease extended
The council considered two other items that affect the use of the park. Council members unanimously approved extending the contract for the Knox Playschool for one year, with options to extend for two more years. The preschool pays approximately $80,000 a year in rent.
Bikes in park
The council also gave town staff permission to look into changing the rules that ban all bicycles from the paths in the park. Bikes are allowed on the streets in the park.
Public Works Superintendent Steve Tyler said that children have been riding their bikes through the park, especially from the gate that leads to Felton Gables to the bicycle/pedestrian bridge.
Council member Rick DeGolia asked the town to look into widening the path that leads from the bridge to the Felton Gables gate, passing the Little League field, so that both bikes and pedestrians could use it.
"There are bikes there now," Mr. DeGolia said. "I think we should do what we can to make it safe."
Once a proposed ordinance has been prepared it will be returned to the council for approval.