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Beach parking restrictions announced for Santa Barbara, Carpinteria

Bailard closure
John Palminteri

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Parking lots at Santa Barbara beaches will be closed over the July Fourth weekend.

The decision to close beach parking comes on the heels of Governor Gavin Newsom's order for some businesses in Santa Barbara County to shut down their indoor operations.

Newsom ordered industries such as restaurants and wineries to close the indoor parts of their businesses. Those restrictions are in place for the next three weeks.

Newsom also ordered State Beaches in Southern California and the Bay Area to be closed over the busy upcoming weekend.

Santa Barbara City has opted to close parking lots at beaches in accordance with the governor's new recommendations. The beaches themselves will remain open after the City Council was unable to reach majority on a decision to close them. Restrictions will be in place at beaches throughout the city.

Parking lots will be closed beginning Friday and will remain closed through Sunday. Stearns Wharf and Harbor Main lots will remain open during this time.

The city is hoping that the beaches will be less of a destination this year, after the city canceled the annual fireworks show. A special Fourth of July celebration hosted by the Pierre-Claeyssens Foundation will be broadcast Saturday on NewsChannel 3 at 6 p.m.

The County of Santa Barbara has chosen to keep beaches open over the weekend, despite a countywide closure of beaches in the neighboring Ventura County.

That decision has drawn mixed reactions.

In Carpinteria, emergency parking restrictions to discourage large gatherings are returning.

These parking restrictions include 2-hour parking limits and parking closures, as well as a temporary resident parking permit program near city beaches. Carpinteria State Beach will also close its day use parking area.

The City will be enforcing a two-hour parking time limit on specific streets Friday through Sunday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. This includes streets within the Beach Neighborhood and portions of the Concha Loma neighborhood. Residents will be provided with parking placards.

Carpinteria will also set up 'no-parking' areas on some portions of downtown streets including Linden Avenue, Fifth Street, Palm Avenue, Walnut Avenue and Sixth Street. Parking lots will be closed at the ends of Linden, Elm, Holly and Ash avenues.

Residents have voiced concerns about an influx of visitors from nearby counties descending on Santa Barbara County beaches. The city hopes these new restrictions, while inconvenient for those who live there, will make it harder for outsiders to crowd the town.

“We appreciate that this late decision will create challenges for some of our residents, and we apologize for the inconvenience,” said Carpinteria City Manager Dave Durflinger. “We considered many variables in our decision to reinstate parking restrictions, and we ask our residents to bear with us as we respond to rapidly changing conditions, many of which are outside of our control.”

Both Santa Barbara and Carpinteria city officials are urging people to practice physical distancing and wear face coverings while out in public.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Travis Schlepp

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