City of Laguna Beach Gains Governor’s Support to Reopen City Beaches for Active Recreation Under Phased Plan
Today, the City of Laguna Beach received approval from the State for a progressive four-phase plan to reopen all Laguna Beach-controlled City beaches.
Governor Newsom’s team reviewed the City’s plan and fully support the City’s phased approach to responsibly and gradually reopen City beaches for active recreation beginning Tuesday, May 5 from 6 - 10 a.m. Click HERE to read the City’s entire reopening plan submitted to the Governor, including a letter from Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen to Governor Newsom.
“We appreciate the Governor’s willingness to work with us to provide a responsible, gradual approach to reopening all beaches in Laguna Beach for active recreation,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. “This will allow people the opportunity to walk, jog, swim and surf and get some fresh air and exercise on a limited basis, but not congregate or gather in large groups.”
Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris started working with the City last Friday and was instrumental in getting the City’s plan reviewed by California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot and other state officials. Congressman Harley Rouda has also supported the City’s effort to reopen City beaches.
“Our beaches are a respite for many of us - and provide our community with an invaluable outlet for outdoor recreation and mental health,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, who worked with local leaders to safely re-open Orange County beaches. “This progressive plan will re-open Laguna beaches in the most responsible way, ensuring public safety and a continued flattening of the curve. I commend Mayor Whalen and the City Council for their thoughtful, judicious and strategic response, now and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As we navigate this unprecedented crisis, we will continue to be led by science and facts - not by politics and not by fear.”
"Throughout the coronavirus crisis, Laguna Beach has served as an example of common-sense city governance," said Congressman Harley Rouda. “Coastal communities across the United States should follow in their footsteps by proposing multi-stage reopening plans, which include limited hours and active use only."
South Laguna beaches are controlled by the County of Orange and will remain closed at this time until the County submits a plan to the state and receives approval from the Governor’s office to reopen County beaches.
Laguna Beach Four-Phase Approach to Beach Reopening
- Phase one of the City’s beach reopening plan includes limited beach hours on weekdays only for active use
- Phase two includes limited beach hours on weekdays and weekends for active use
- Phase three includes regular hours on weekdays and weekends for active use
- Phase four includes the return to regular hours on weekdays and weekends for active and passive use of the beach
Details: Laguna Beach City Beaches to Reopen Weekdays Starting Tuesday, May 5 From 6 – 10 a.m. for Active Recreation
City Beaches Will Remain CLOSED on Weekends.
ACTIVE RECREATION PERMITTED BEACH ACTIVITIES (including, but not limited to):
• Ocean recreation: swimming, paddle boarding, surfing, bodyboarding, skim boarding, kayaking
• Physical activity which keeps individuals in non-stationary active motion
NON-PERMITTED BEACH ACTIVITIES:
• Beach towels, blankets, easy-ups, tents, umbrellas, etc.- items used for settling in place
• Sitting or lying on beach
• Setting up chairs and staying in place
Each weekday the City beaches and ocean water will close promptly at 10:00 a.m. and Laguna Beach public safety staff will be present on beaches to enforce the closures.
Those violating the closure orders outside of the permitted timeframe or on weekends can be cited with a misdemeanor, fined up to $1,000, or arrested. Restrictions on morning beach activity are in place to encourage social distancing, protect the community and slow the spread of COVID-19. Adjacent City each parks remain closed at all times.
This is an adaptive management plan and each phase will be enacted on a trial basis. The City will move to the next phase only if it believes the activities can be managed to comply with current directives regarding physical distancing and large gatherings.
If it is determined that a phase is creating an environment whereby physical distancing cannot be maintained, the City will consider further limiting beach access or closing the beach until compliance can be attained.
Hear Mayor Whalen Talk About the Governor's Support for Laguna Beach's Plan to Reopen City Beaches
In today's podcast update, Mayor Whalen talks about working with the Governor's office to reopen City beaches for active recreation, and how the Governor mentioned the City of Laguna Beach as a successful example of a City with a plan for safely reopening public spaces.
Photo: Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen is interviewed by a reporter from MSNBC this weekend.
186 Citations Made in Weekend Speed and Modified Exhaust Enforcement Operation
The Laguna Beach Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol conducted a directed speed and modified exhaust enforcement operation over the weekend in the cities of Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and selected neighboring areas along Pacific Coast Highway, to reduce excessive vehicular speed and noise.
During the twelve hours of operation, the Task Force issued a total of 186 citations: 153 for speeding and 33 for loud exhaust. LBPD traffic officers did an outstanding job and wrote 75 of these citations.
This is the first of several directed enforcement operations that will be conducted in 2020.
“Speed and loud exhaust can impact the safety and quality of life for our residents, and we will actively enforce these laws to mitigate their concerns,” said Laguna Beach Police Captain Jeff Calvert.
Some City Trailheads Open on Trial Basis
Some Laguna Beach trailheads are open for active recreation on a trial basis.
However, the Alta Laguna trailhead at Top of the World and Dartmoor remain CLOSED until further notice.
If trailheads become overwhelmed and neighborhoods are impacted, the City Manager may close them again.
City of Laguna Beach to Participate in "Great Plates Delivered" Program
The City of Laguna Beach has applied and been accepted into the State's "Great Plates Delivered” program, a meal delivery service for California’s older adults.
Great Plates Delivered has two purposes:
1) Help qualifying seniors and other adults at high risk from COVID-19 to stay home and stay healthy by delivering three nutritious meals a day, and
2) Provide essential economic stimulus to local businesses and restaurants struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.
Click the link below if you’d like to see if you qualify to receive meals, or supply meals within the Laguna Beach community.
'Think Laguna First' to Support Local Businesses with Takeout and Delivery This Week
Residents are encouraged to support local businesses and use curbside, takeout, and delivery food services from our local restaurants as part of the 'Think Laguna First' campaign.
Due to the closing of our restaurants to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce has compiled a useful list of restaurants throughout the City who offer takeout and delivery options, at the link below.
California Marriage Licenses Now Available by Videoconference
The Governor signed an executive order today that will allow adults to obtain marriage licenses via videoconferencing rather than in person amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Laguna Beach, for marriage license information, contact Laguna Beach City Clerk Lisette Chel-Walker at 949-497-0309 or Lchel@lagunabeachcity.net.
State Establishes New Child Care Portal for Parents, Essential Workers
A new portal has been set up with the state to help parents, including essential workers and vulnerable families, find safe, reliable and accessible child care options.
The new portal is available at: covid19.ca.gov/childcare and enables parents to enter their location and the type of care they need, instantly receiving a list of local center-based and family child care programs.