Coronavirus: Newport Beach to weigh legal options over Gov. Newsom's beach closure order

Newport Beach officials are expected to hold a special meeting this weekend to discuss legal options to challenge Gov. Gavin Newsom's order closing county beaches.
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Newport Beach officials are expected to hold a special meeting this weekend to discuss legal options to challenge Gov. Gavin Newsom's order closing county beaches.

Newsom announced a "hard close" of Orange County beaches Thursday, prompting at least two cities - Huntington Beach and Dana Point - to file legal action to fight the order.

The Newport Beach City Council voted to keep its beaches open Tuesday, a decision that came after thousands of people sprawled across the sand amid a sweltering heat wave over the past weekend. The proposed ordinance would have closed the city's beaches for three weekends in May.

Newsom earlier in the week admonished those who flocked to the crowded beaches.

Orange County beach cities filing legal action against Gov. Newsom's closure
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At least two Orange County cities are filing legal action to fight Gov. Gavin Newsom's order closing the county's beaches.



The city on Thursday said it will comply with Newsom's order, but will hold the meeting to discuss its legal options.

A statement from the city council said preparations were underway to increase public safety presence at beaches and nearby neighborhoods to ensure stay-at-home orders were followed.



"The Governor's brief and general directive raises enforcement questions, (Newport Beach Mayor Will O'Neill) said, that will require further clarification from the Governor's office and state Office of Emergency Services," the statement said. "The City's public safety officers will strive to educate the public on the Governor's directive and are hopeful citations will be unnecessary."

Orange County officials have been critical of the governor's decision.

"Without speaking to a single local official in Newport Beach, Governor Newsom has put politics over data, and substituted his will for our judgment from 428 miles away in Sacramento," O'Neill said.

"It's a clear example of unnecessary government overreach," County Supervisor Michelle Steel said. "His actions are arbitrary and capricious and is an act of retribution against Orange County."

The order takes effect for all local and state beaches in Orange County beginning May 1.

Newsom added that he hopes the order won't last very long. But he said he felt he had to do it to protect public health.
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