CARLSBAD — On May 4, the city of Carlsbad will open its beach, parks and trails.
The City Council voted unanimously during its special meeting May 1 to open passive recreation areas in line with other municipalities throughout the county regarding the COIVD-19 pandemic.
The beach will open at 9 a.m. May 4, while parks and trails will open at 2 p.m., per the recommendations from Kyle Lancaster, the director of parks and recreation, fire and police departments. The city’s direction does not include Batiquitos Lagoon, which will remain closed until the end of May, according to its website.
However, the beach may only open in “concert” with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, he said. However, Lancaster reported to the council the state may open its beaches without notice to the city.
The new hours for the beach will be from 6 a.m.-8 p.m., while parks and trails 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
“We will educate public with flyers and answer questions,” said Carlsbad Police Chief Neil Gallucci. “We will also be managing parking and traffic flow and enforce parking violations.”
The city is conducting a two-stage approach, but the continuation of the openings will depend on compliance, Lancaster said. If residents do not follow with the county’s health orders, such as wearing facemasks when six feet or closer to others, or there is a spike in COVID-19 cases, beaches, parks and trails will be closed.
All social distancing guidelines will remain in place, per the county’s health order.
Fire Chief Mike Calderwood said the county has reported just four new coronavirus cases in Carlsbad over the past several weeks. Those include individuals who may not be in the city but have a Carlsbad address.
As for the beach, it can only be used for walking, running, hiking, equestrian or bicycle riding (where allowed), according to the staff report. Additionally, swimming, body surfing, boogie boarding, surfing, kite surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving are allowed.
Residents or visitors cannot congregate, lay down, stand still or participate in active sport activities such as yoga or volleyball.
“Lifeguards will be at all three lifeguard towers including Army-Navy Academy tower,” said Kevin Lynds, a battalion chief with the Carlsbad Fire Department. “These plans can change with any updates to the public health order from the county.”
Parks will also include restrictions as playgrounds, courts, athletic fields, sports, aquatic centers, skate parks and dog parks will not be allowed or remain closed. As for trails, individuals must pass-through parks and follow all guidelines set by the county and city’s orders.
The golf course will be monitored through JC Resorts, which has a contract to operate the course. Golfers must walk the course unless a cart is needed under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The city will also sanitize all restrooms on a continuous basis, Lancaster said.
The cost for enforcement, Gallucci said, will run the police department more than $25,000 per week to cover overtime costs, plus another $8,000 per week for parks and trails.