The Carpinteria City Council voted Thursday to reinstate emergency parking restrictions for the Fourth of July holiday weekend to discourage large gatherings and slow the transmission of the coronavirus.
The council voted unanimously to enact the restrictions, which include parking closures around beach neighborhoods and around the ends of Linden, Holly, Elm and Ash avenues. The city is closing back-angled parking south of the railroad on Linden Avenue and portions of the Amtrak parking lot. The restrictions formerly included a two-hour parking restrictions and permits for residents, but those are not needed because of the county’s beach closure health order.
Message boards have been set up to reflect the beach closures, physical signs have been added to the beach regarding the closures and the city is providing messaging via social media, City Manager Dave Durflinger said during Thursday’s meeting.
“No parking areas” will also be placed on some portions of downtown streets.
“We as a city council look at the priority of our jobs, specifically for the health and safety of this community, and it’s sometimes hard and difficult to make those decisions, but if we look at your health and your safety first it makes it a lot easier for us to make those decisions,” said Mayor Wade Nomura.
The county’s beach closure order encompasses all state beach areas, including Carpinteria State Beach. The county’s campgrounds already were fully reserved for the holiday weekend, and those who have already arrived will not be asked to shutdown camping operations, said Kelly Hubbard, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management.
When it comes to how these restrictions and closures will be enforced, Ms. Hubbard said that will be up to the respective jurisdiction.
“Our biggest, biggest push is for education — informing them, educating them, asking them to take the appropriate actions for public health. If it does come down to it, the health order does have the capability to issue penalties, but at this time we really, really want to work on that concept of education and working with the community members to engage safely,” she said.
The city of Goleta is also closing some parking areas, including the Sperling Parking Lot at Ellwood Mesa in the 7700 block of Hollister Avenue. City Manager Michelle Green signed an emergency order Thursday closing the parking lot Friday through 6 a.m. Monday. The city is working with local law enforcement to conduct additional patrols of the areas, city officials said.
City staff is also working to close the Haskell’s Beach parking lot, which is owned by the Ritz Carlton Bacara.