Council to Consider Beach Closures, COVID-19 Recovery Steps at Special Meeting

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Beachgoers on the sand at Corona del Mar beach on Saturday, April 25 / photo by Lawrence Sherwin

Prior to its regularly scheduled 7 p.m. City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 28, the Newport Beach City Council will hold a special meeting at 3 p.m. that day to consider three agenda items related to the coronavirus response and recovery:

  • Developing an Ad Hoc City Council committee to guide the reopening of businesses in the City.
  • Adopting a resolution in support of Orange County’s reopening/recovery plan.
  • Potentially closing the beaches for three upcoming consecutive weekends: May 2 and 3; May 9 and 10; and May 16 and 17; or, alternatively, closing roadways leading to popular beach spots at the Peninsula and Corona del Mar.

The Ad Hoc City Council committee is expected to work with local business leaders, public health experts, and residents to make recommendations to the full City Council on ways that the City can help local businesses during this difficult economic time.

The committee is also expected to review further orders and guidance affecting local businesses from the Governor and Orange County Board of Supervisors.

The resolution follows the formation of the Orange County Business Recovery Ad hoc Committee by the Orange County Board of Supervisors. The resolution would support the efforts of this Ad hoc Committee to find a path toward reopening the Orange County economy safely.

The Council will also consider temporary beach closures as part of the City’s COVID-19 response after a Southern California heatwave drew large crowds to Newport Beach this weekend (April 24-26).

The Council has made a concerted effort to keep most public beaches, parks and open spaces accessible for the mental and physical wellbeing of residents. That effort has followed the guidance of the State and County public health agencies, as well as the California Coastal Commission’s admonition that “recreational beach and coastal access also play important roles in maintaining mental and emotional health, especially during times of stress.”

Beachgoers on the sand at Corona del Mar beach on Saturday, April 25 / photo by Lawrence Sherwin

While most of the beachgoers were practicing responsible social distancing, the volume of visitors generated significant neighborhood impacts and ran counter guidance from California State Parks to “stay close to home when you get outdoors. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.”

The meeting will be broadcast live through the City’s web site and Newport Beach Television cable channels.

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  1. Concerned about Memorial Day visitors. Concerned about graduation trips from outside our state to beach rentals. Inviting so many from all over the country to come here and potentially spread this virus after we’ve been quarantining is irresponsible until at least July 1st.