Creating a monster
Opportunism has never known boundaries and can take advantage of global pandemic adjustments, both good and bad. But our return to normalcy should not mean selling public beaches to private entities, when a sort of eminent-domain confiscation would essentially evict families, kids and locals, who may wish to have a late afternoon swim on a hot summer day when the sun sets at 8:30. The loss of our beaches for recreation and evening relaxation, is, as Mr. Bray describes, creating a monster, fraught with unintended consequences, hidden under sparkly beach lights. After all, if a visitor comes to eat on a beach, why not go to the Isthmus or Descanso? Visitors also come to sunbathe and spend the days and early evenings in the sand.
Restaurants will soon operate at full capacity. Continuing to have additional tables on the beach would be an expansion of their business, calling for additional water, sewage and trash and other infrastructure needs, such as public safety due to congestion issues when 8 to 10 thousand visitors start showing up on a regular basis.
Other issues are left to consider, not mentioned in the council meeting. We all know certain rules and laws were waived informally and most of us agreed. However, on June 15, the City needs to take a balanced and legal assessment of public beach dining. If the City allows certain businesses the privileged use, would it not be fair to allow Vons and liquor stores the same access? Not everyone can afford a high end steak house. Why not let a Vons customer enjoy a beer and a sandwich on the beach? Considerations open for further discussion include area of beaches, times of day, peak and off-season allotment, and most certainly a city surtax for added infrastructure.
Has the council given full consideration to what would be lost by privatizing our public parks, our beaches? Front Street is a public walkway and extension of our beach. The ability of families to stroll unimpeded by wait staff, for children to run happily in the sand, families to sunbathe and linger, should be weighed in proportion to the profit margin of a few restaurants. What the City will be allowing is a privileged use by a few at the expense of what will be lost to memories of early blanket-placing and long, family summer days.
Manuel Hernandez, Avalon, CA
Micah Phillips, Avalon, CA
Richard Hernandez, Avalon, CA
Paula Patterson, Avalon, CA
Janice Hall, Avalon, CA
Sally George, Avalon, CA
Sharon Siebert, Avalon, CA