Wednesday, November 25, 2020

City of Coronado Fire Rings and Beach Maintenance Ignite Community Voices

Coronado residents are involved in a ‘passionate’ discussion on on whether or not the City of Coronado is doing enough to clean up fire rings and limit certain materials burned (including wood pallets, nails and cans) on Coronado beaches. Even though the original post had to do with Coronado school funding, page two of the comments shifted to fire rings, City maintenance and the amount of debris left on Coronado beaches.

Note: strongly encourages members to engage in constructive discussion and to please refrain from personal attacks. Stay on topic and be civil. That is the best way to have your view be heard.

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Coronado resident, Ben Siegfried, has started a website called Keep the Beach Clean which is described as a “grassroots effort to keep the City of Coronado Beach clean and safe for all patrons who visit and enjoy what it has to offer.” On the website, there are multiple photos of Coronado sand and fire ring conditions and sewer/drain conditions that are being brought up to the City of Coronado. In one of his comments, Siegfried writes:

There were fire debris areas all up and down the beach outside of fire rings, of course more concentrated in the fire ring area. There is little to absolutely no ordinance enforcement of existing ordinances, and this City MUST update current ordinances… to start… we don’t allow glass but we allow nails? No more pallets would be a good start! A better start would be to paint each fire ring with a number and force users to register to use a fire ring, first come, first serve, and that way they can be held accountable for keeping it clean so that the little three person clean up crew the next morning isn’t so overburdened. Treat it like a National Park, our beaches all across this Nation are National treasures. If large numbers of people can’t control themselves with their trash and make the beach unsafe and the sand unclean by their lack of care and common sense then they need to be monitored. Works for the National Parks to a degree, it should would for the City of Coronado.

Coronado Mayor Casey Tanaka shared:

I also did give your ideas “more thought” and the conclusions I reached were different than the ones you reached. City workers maintain the fire pits on a regular basis. The City Manager and the Director of Public Services are also reviewing the protocols for these fire pits to see if they need more attention or replacement.

Ben Siegfried has also put together a video channel on Vimeo to show his findings and share his opinion. Here is the latest video which Siegfried makes reference to the 10-15-13 city council meeting:

On October 18th, the City of Coronado put out this Q and A release:

The City of Coronado is committed to maintaining its wide and pristine public beach, which is consistently ranked among the nation’s best, as well as its many amenities, such as the City’s popular fire rings. We want the public to know a little bit about the fire rings and what we do to keep them a clean and affordable beach attraction for the public. To increase awareness of Coronado’s fire rings, the City has put together this Q&A.

Q. What is the City’s policy on fire rings?

A. Per Coronado Municipal Code Section 86.38.020, fire rings are permitted uses in the City’s open space areas, which are protected and preserved as natural resources, visual amenities, recreational opportunities, or for public safety purposes.

Q. Are fire pits allowed outside of the City’s fire rings?

A. The Coronado Municipal Code Section 48.04.120 allows for fires to be built in a “portable barbecue or other similar device; provided, however, that any such barbecue or device shall not burn grass or landscaping; and provided further, that the coals from said barbecue or device shall be removed from the beach or deposited in an official fire circle.”

Q. How many permanent fire rings does Coronado have?

A. Eight (8) square fire pits, measuring 5-foot-by-five-foot, are at North Beach.

Q. What is the service schedule for the fire rings?

A. Maintenance is completed weekly on Monday or Tuesday, and as-needed throughout week. Inspections of the fire ring pits are conducted daily. Weekly maintenance involves removing large debris. Monthly maintenance includes removing the ash.

Q. What is the service schedule for the City’s hot coal receptacles?

A. Hot coal receptacle maintenance is completed along with fire pit maintenance, which is weekly with daily inspections. There is one hot coal receptacle near the fire rings and at least one in every City park.

Q. What is the condition of the fire rings?

A. The fire rings are in fair condition but are showing signs of wear. However, the fire rings are fully functional, with no hazardous conditions detected.

Q. When was the last time the fire rings were replaced?

A. All eight (8) fire rings were purchased from Quick Crete, for $628 each, and were installed at the same time in 2008.

Q. How many recent service requests have there been related to the fire rings?

A. Per the Public Services work order system, there have been three (3) work requests related to the fire pit area and fires on the beach since summer 2012. One, dated August 2012, was about illegal fires on the beach and a suggestion to remove all beach fire pits. The other two, dated August 2013, were separate parties requesting the hot coals receptacle be emptied.

Q. What is the City’s schedule for beach maintenance/grooming/cleaning?

A. The City’s beach is inspected daily, including weekends. Routine maintenance of trash and litter pickup, as well as servicing restrooms, occurs daily. In the winter season, the City grooms the beach once per week. Grooming includes kelp raking and removal, sanitizing and sifting the sand, then smoothing. Grooming during the summer months occurs several times per week, sometimes daily, due to increased beach activity and an abundance of dead kelp.

Q. How much does the City spend on beach maintenance?

A. Public Services’ beach maintenance costs are budgeted in Fiscal Year 2013-14 at $510,038, a 42.7 percent increase over 2012-13. The figure does not include beach Lifeguard Services.

The next regular City Council meeting is set for November 5, 2013. (Council meets at 4 p.m.)

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