Most USC students were unaware of ordinances reversed by the Los Angeles Dept. of Beaches and Harbors at a Feb. 9 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, such as a ban on throwing footballs and Frisbees.
The new ordinances allow more recreational activities at beaches in L.A. County, contrary to original news reports, said Carol Baker, chief of community and marketing services for the Dept. of Beaches and Harbors.
Brett Hughes, a freshman majoring in accounting, said the original ordinance was not needed.
“It’s good [they lifted the ban],” Hughes said. “It was unnecessary for them to have had one in the first place.”
Baker said during the summer months, areas will be established where beachgoers can throw Frisbees and footballs.
“It had been a year-round ban, so now during the months when it’s not completely crowded at the beaches, we allow for those activities to take place,” Baker said.
The ordinance, which applies to 16 beaches throughout L.A. County running from the Malibu area to Point Fermin, will enhance the beach experience while still enabling lifeguards to do their job, Baker said.
“The lifeguards do need the ability on a regular day to say, ‘Hey, you know what guys, there’s too many little kids around here,’ or ‘You’re going to trample a sunbather, go up the beach 50 yards or go closer to [the] boardwalk and not so close to the shore where you’ve got little kids digging in the sand,’” Baker said.
The previous ban had been in place since 1970, but very few people knew about it. Baker said there are similarities in that the institutionalized ordinance will not have a major impact on beachgoers.
“It also creates opportunities for things that seem to be expressively prohibited by the [previous] ordinance because before the only kind of ball you could have was an inflatable beach ball,” Baker said. “So we wanted to change that.”
The beaches will not impose $1,000 citations for misconduct, but a first time offense will receive a $100 fine and each subsequent offense will have a greater fee, capped at $500.
Upon learning the actual ruling of the ordinance, students were glad to see the ban lifted, even if it was never a major concern anyway.
Rex Christensen, an undeclared freshman, said the lifting of the original ordinance was the correct decision because recreational activities, such as football and Frisbee, are a part of beach culture.
“One of the biggest reasons people go to the beach is for recreational purposes,” Christensen said. “Being out in the sun, swimming, playing volleyball — the beach is kind of a little getaway. I don’t feel as if there should be restrictions.”