HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (KABC) --An Orange County nudist group is threatening legal action after the organization was banned from gathering at a Huntington Beach city facility.
For the last eight years, the Huntington Beach City Gym and Pool has served as the meeting place for the group, "Naturists in the O.C." The group of about 50 plays games and swims - all in the nude.
"It's a very relaxing atmosphere. People feel very welcomed," said Allen Baylis, the group's president and also a private attorney.
Baylis said last September without warning, the city banned the nudists from renting and using the facility.
"After seeing a number of incidents that occurred with the Naturists at the pool and the gym, the city decided, better to strengthen enforcement," said Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates.
Gates says Huntington Beach has always had an ordinance banning nudity in public places - it just wasn't strictly enforced.
Both Gates and Baylis said there have been incidents in the past, but neither would go into more detail. The Naturists believe their private events should not fall under the regulation.
"The purpose is to protect the public from viewing nudity if they don't want to see. Well, in this situation, the public is protected," Baylis argued.
Baylis said the group puts paper over the windows and monitors the doors. City employees at the events volunteer to work.
City officials say that's not enough to keep them from shutting it down.
"The concerns that the city have are public safety concerns, concerns for the city employees," Gates said.
Naturists in the O.C. voiced their frustrations at Wednesday night's City Council meeting, even threatening legal action if nothing changes.
"There was no input from any of the public. There was no input from us, and there was no input from the City Council," Baylis said.
City staff said they plan to keep the ban in place, unless the City Council decides otherwise.