Thursday, May 23, 2024

Council to Discuss Limiting Beach Fires at April 16 Meeting

The Coronado City Council will hold the first reading of an ordinance prohibiting beach fires outside of city-provided fire rings at its regular meeting on April 16.

The council voted unanimously in February to limit fires to city-provided rings in an effort to balance access to an iconic recreational activity with smoke concerns from nearby residents. Currently, beachgoers can bring their own portable barbecues or fire pits.

Coronado will now hold its first reading of a new ordinance limiting beach fires to city-provided rings, the next step in codifying the ordinance. Public comment will be heard.

The City Council must approve the changed policy at two public hearings before it can change the law.

If the city moves forward with its new ordinance, it will then go before the California Coastal Commission for approval. The CCC is tasked by the state with preserving public access to the beach, and a concern is that the commission may take issue with limiting bonfire access.

Coronado has eight fire rings on North Beach, and they are claimed quickly, so theoretically, eliminating personal bonfires would reduce access to an iconic regional form of recreation.

Since the council’s vote in February, public commenters at subsequent public meetings have hailed from two opposing sides: Those who say the smoke is harmful to residents’ health and quality of life, and those who say it’s not a California summer without an oceanside bonfire.

Some environmentalists say personal fires are harming beaches, since beachgoers often leave their coals in the sand.

The meeting is at 4 p.m. on April 16, in the Coronado Council Chamber. The proposed ordinance, with its changes, can be read here. More background on the issue and the council’s deliberations on the matter in February can be found here.

Megan Kitt
Megan Kitt
Megan has worked as a reporter for more than 15 years, and her work in both print and digital journalism has been published in more than 25 publications worldwide. She is also an award-winning photographer. She holds BA degrees in journalism, English literature and creative writing and an MA degree in creative writing and literature. She believes a quality news publication's purpose is to strengthen a community through informative and connective reporting.Megan is also a mother of three and a Navy spouse. After living around the world both as a journalist and as a military spouse, she immediately fell in love with San Diego and Coronado for her family's long-term home.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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