ENCINITAS, California (KGTV) – In a 3-2 vote, the Encinitas City Council approved a plan to reopen Moonlight Beach on Monday under certain conditions.
They meet Sunday for Special Meetings after San Diego County announced their plans to reopen the ocean for activities.
According to Superintendent Nathan Fletcher, the seas will be reopened with limited access starting at sunrise on Monday. Swimming, surfing, kayaking and rowing will be permitted at sea.
The idea made Encinitas officials off guard, sending their teams scrambling to complete the details so they could open the beach.
“I know you didn’t do it on purpose, all of us,” said Mayor Catherine Blakespear.
“They dropped this bomb on us for Monday, which was frustrating,” Council Member Tony Kranz said.
The plan is to keep the parking lot closed, allowing people to enter and exit freely from B and C Streets, and out of the stairs, to maintain social distance.
While the beach will open, there are boundaries, and people are only allowed to walk or run on the beach, to still obey public health orders. No one is allowed to play games of any kind, relax or stand on the beach.
Signs to be put on the beach encourage people to wear masks. The Parks and Recreation Department clarifies that you only need to wear a mask if you cannot keep 6 feet from other people outside your family unit.
During the two-hour afternoon meeting the officials listened to recommendations by community leaders, saying this proposal allowed the coast guard to trigger closure if the community did not comply with the social distance protocol.
They will be supported by the Sheriff’s Department.
The biggest concern that arose during the meeting was attracting beach visitors from all directions, “in fact this is just a local situation, we don’t invite Solana or Del Mar or Carlsbad people to come to the beach,” Kranz said, wanting to protect the community.
The next meeting to see how Phase I works is May 6.
During the meeting, public comments were read in favor of the opening and closing of the beach.
There are costs that come with reopening. The Department of Parks and Recreation said they must pay almost double every day for extra toilet cleaning to remain in line with the regional mandate to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The city is considering other issues such as extra bicycle racks and handicapped access.