County Threatens to Close Parks or Beach Parking if Too Crowded

More Mesa on Friday, April 4, 2020 (edhat photo)

Source: County of Santa Barbara

In an effort to prevent visitation surges and the spread of COVID-19, the Santa Barbara County Community Services Department, Parks Division, has announced that County beach, park and trail vehicle access and parking will be closed should parks become too crowded.

The County is appreciative that the community visits local parks responsibly. However, as the days become warmer more people are visiting beaches and parks, staying longer, and violating social distancing and guidelines about congregating. Park staff will be monitoring its parks regularly and will close parking and vehicle access if parks become too crowded. Parks with vehicular access closures may remain open provided visitors practice safe, physical distancing of six feet or more.

Please make your visit to parks short and only at off-peak hours. If the parking lot is busy, come back later, visit a less crowded park, and practice social distancing even while outdoors.

To date, temporary safety measures initiated by County Parks include closures of campgrounds, the Goleta Beach pier boat launch, playgrounds, dog parks, and BBQ and picnic areas. Large group events and weddings have been postponed or cancelled.

For up to date information on County Parks operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit .

Leadbetter beach at 12:30 p.m. Friday, April 24 (Photo: Patti Gutshall/edhat)


Written by Anonymous

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  1. How about, instead of following the lazy cancel and shut down strategy, the cops actually do a little work and go ticket violators? It can’t be that hard. You see some people close together at the beach, hi fiving, hugging, etc and you ask them – “are you from the same household?” If no, ticket time! Let the rest of us enjoy the outdoors and this weather! Stop being lazy and do your jobs!

  2. When you feel confident enough to say that to an officer in person, demanding they stop being lazy and walk up and down the sand, let us all know in advance so we can watch – from a safe distance, of course. I’ll bring popcorn.

  3. Are you kidding me you just figured this out when states are talking about opening up and you’ve got a salaried job (or is it a volunteer position )I think you’re smoking something that I haven’t got Ventura is going to open their beaches and they’ve been closed for a while and you’re thinking about just closing them you should’ve closed Henry’s A long time ago

  4. “Better things to do” only if they are not servants of the people, paid by the people. I realize that some (but NOT all) do not see themselves as helping people but instead prefer the sitting in the copcar, waiting to ticket those without seat belts, etc. We’re all here together on this — and it would be helpful if there are those on the beach endangering themselves and others that they were politely advised. I think the rules are guidance, not laws, just as their press release says, “social distancing and guidelines about congregating.” Closing down the beach/parks, if they become “too crowded” — who’s going to decide on that “too”! If the County wants the police to enforce, then they need to promulgate duly developed laws and punish by closing if the laws are not obeyed.

  5. Law enforcement officers are required to swear an oath to uphold the constitution. Ticketing people as suggested here would be a violation of that oath. Any officer asked to issue such a ticket should refuse to do so, and any person being issued such a ticket would be within their rights to resist as they feel is appropriate. Civil rights are absolute.

  6. Chip – you don’t understand the constitution very well. Violating a health order is still a violation. City, state, municipal leaders are well within their rights to issue orders such as this, which must be obeyed. Sheriff Brown has said multiple times that frequent violators will be ticketed/jailed.

  7. A lot of the over-crowding is NON LOCAL TRAFFIC. Check out the license plates – they have frames from Ventura and LA Counties. LA County shuttered their trails and beaches. Ventura is patrolling theirs to control traffic. So the spillover traffic is HERE. I wish our Sheriff and County Supervisors would at least close parking off. That would stop non-local traffic and leave it open for the locals.

  8. The County closed Rincon Beach parking lot this morning. There were plenty of surfers and beach folks who parked for 1/4 mile up Bates. Seems ineffective to close the lot when street parking is completely open, but I suppose it dissuaded a few folk who didn’t want to walk a bit more.

  9. We really have lost our minds to COVID-19. Parked cars do not have to practice “social distancing” and we have been told we need fresh air to boost psycho-immuno responses–prevention of vulnerability.
    The photo proves people are being responsible–even not anti-social now. This is not healthy in the long run for any community, and it is much better now. Once the government figures out how to do something about an event and wants to control it–it is over!!!!

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