HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Dana Point city councils voted Thursday to challenge Governor Gavin Newsom’s orders to temporarily close all Orange County beaches beginning Friday.

Huntington Beach City Council plans to file an injunction challenging the constitutionality of the governor’s order to close the beaches.

“Huntington Beach has never been one to just roll over and take these mandates from the governor,” said Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates. “We’re going to be fighting the order on a constitutional basis. We’re fighting for the city. We’re fighting for our decision makers locally who have done a good job managing this crisis. We’re also fighting for the citizens of Huntington Beach.”

Thursday afternoon, Newport Beach City Council held an emergency meeting on the governor’s orders. Councilman Kevin Muldoon has introduced a motion to join with other O.C. cities in filing litigation.

Dana Point City Council voted to join the other cities and seek a temporary restraining order to stop the state.

“The City Council voted to pursue litigation against Governor Newsom, challenging his order that all Orange County beaches, but no other beaches in the state, be closed,” Dana Point City Attorney Patrick Munoz said. ” The city will be seeking a temporary restraining order asking the court to enjoin his order until a full hearing on the merits of the matter can occur.”

The governor announced a “hard closure” of all state and local beaches in Orange County.

“We’re gonna do a hard close in that part of the state, just in the O.C. area,” Newsom said.

Newsom called the focused closure a “temporary pause.” After thousands flocked to O.C. beaches over the weekend, CBS News Wednesday had obtained a memo which seemed to indicate that Newsom may shut down all beaches statewide. However, that was not the case.

“Specific issues on some of those (Orange County) beaches have raised alarm bells,” Newsom said. “People that are congregating there that weren’t practicing physical distancing that may go back to their community outside of O.C. and may not even though that they contracted the disease.”

Huntington Beach Mayor Lyn Semeta said she was disappointed by the governor’s mandate.

“We are surf city,” she said. “We are a beautiful coastal town. Our beaches are so important to us.”

Orange County Sheriff Barnes released a statement tonight implying he wouldn’t arrest anyone or try to enforce the mandate.

“From what I saw, the vast majority of the people on the beaches last weekend acted responsibly,” he wrote. “No one should fear being subject to a criminal violation for seeking out and exercising healthy activities.”

Both Huntington Beach and Newport Beach said they plan to issue warnings to try to enforce the governor’s orders.

The Newport Beach City Council voted Tuesday against a proposal to close its beaches for the next three weekends.

Comments (19)
  1. This should totally keep the spotlight off the fact that during a pandemic, Huntington Beach city council gave all the bureaucrats big raises.

  2. Libs are degenerates says:

    This should totally keep the spotlight off the fact that during a pandemic, not all “pie on the head” democrats, contracted, took sick and died from complications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Sad; however true!

  3. marie miller says:

    Lifeguards estimate 40,000 people on Newport Beach Friday. “We’re seeing a huge increase in crowds that we would normally see out here in the middle of the summer,” said Lifeguard Battalion Chief Brian O’Rourke. Many practiced social distancing, many did not. Almost none wore masks. Crowded sidewalks were a problem. Watch the video of hundreds of people without masks crammed together going down the stairs at Huntington Beach. Big problem. I surf. I love the beach but I do not want people to get covid and die. Many politicians will speak against the order to try and score political points. They don’t care if people die, only getting elected. Then you have those who don’t understand science and statistics. They will protest without social distancing to get their picture in the paper or whatever. In their minds they are smarter than our top scientists. So sad. When they get covid they will pray to God they will get a doctor that is smarter than they are. Heath experts tell us we need more testing to see who has covid then do contact tracing. That is hard to do when you have 40,000 at the beach and people crammed together on stairs going to and leaving it. During the 1918 Spanish flu on September 28, Philadelphia had a parade. Within 2 weeks 4,500 people in Philadelphia died. When a wildfire is raging you don’t all jump in the middle of it. I want the beach open as soon as possible. I want everything back to normal as soon as possible. That can only happen if we listen to our health experts.

    1. Truth Teller says:

      You are a clueless sheep. This has become a political scam and only fools like you are falling for it. The hospitals are at half capacity and the death rate is a fraction of a percent even if you don’t cite the real underlying cause of death being something other than Covid. America is going to reopen and scared sheep like you can stay at home while Americans get on with their lives and try to undo the massive damage done for political advantage in November.

      1. Cherie Allgood says:

        Thank you Truth Teller for displaying some common sense in this thread.

      2. Seawolf says:

        Hope you are not one of the people who have contracted the virus or died from it.

        There IS middle ground here. Access to the water for surfing and swimming and walking along the beach but no sunbathing. This is not a matter for sheep but for lemmings.

  4. William says:

    Thank you Truth Teller!!! Your comment speaks volumes!!!!!

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