First, let me start by issuing a “thank you” to everyone who has been involved with this fight to preserve our Dog Beach. From everyone who was following this page before, to everyone who shared, liked, or commented on an article, to everyone who donated and got hats, attended the meetings, spoke at the meetings, conducted or provided research that we used in our behind-the-scenes lobbying efforts, and to everyone who wrote in emails to our elected officials. These victories go to you.
Today at the Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting, we had dozens of people speak. I want to especially thank those who were table to attend. I know it is very difficult to get to Santa Ana on a Tuesday at 10am, and I cannot express how thankful I am to those who could do so. Originally expecting a 3-2 vote and very concerned that one may flip and ruin the movement, our turnout and passionate but polite testimony actually won over the additional two votes, resulting in an overwhelming victory of 5 to 0– a unanimous victory once again.
As you all know, the Dog Beach at the river jetties between here and Huntington actually spans two properties. We have the county which takes the land from the jetties to the river, and the city which owns the land that must be traversed to actually get there. While we have now won the right to have a dog beach there, we are still awaiting a city response on the matter. To find out when this will be occurring, I emailed our city manager, Dave Kiff, asking him when his guesstimate was about when this may be.
He responded that the Parks, Beach, and Recreations committee only had recommended to a “NO” vote on the MOU, and never recommended to expand the Dog Beach so that people could legally access it from Newport’s land. In this theory, unless you are in possession of a helicopter, you will still never be able to legally access Dog Beach.
However, as many of you may have noticed, we anticipated this kind of thing, so we set up a video camera to record the meeting. This is what it recorded: “I’m gonna make a motion that we do not recommend that the city council take up the MOU, but also recommending that the city council review the off-leash dog code or laws for this particular section of the city to make it a codified amenity for the community.”
This clearly carries TWO variables: One for the MOU and one to expand Dog Beach (presumably, as many speakers requested, to Olive Street)
I think that he was abundantly clear that this was WITHIN the city of Newport Beach, this is in light of countless people who asked for this to be extended to Olive Street.
So is city council trying to re-write history? I am going to be working to find out. Until then, we can celebrate winning our halfway point: Victory at the county level! The city is next!