Two Orange County beaches reopen after approval from Gov. Newsom

Orange County became a focal point last week after crowds flocked to beaches to escape the first heat wave of the year.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the reopening of two Orange County beaches on Monday as the state prepares to enter the second phase of easing restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Newsom said beaches in San Clemente and Laguna Beach will reopen after local officials recently made modifications.

During his daily news conference, Gov. Newsom said local officials and law enforcement put together "an outstanding plan" for reopening those beaches.

San Clemente will break up any large gatherings, allow only for active use of the beach and restrict parking to residents only.

Laguna Beach is open for active use between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Any violations outside of that timeframe will be strictly enforced.

"It's gonna give people a chance to get out there and exercise. If you wanna hit the water, you can hit the water, surf, skim, paddle board. If you wanna walk on the beach, jog on the beach, you can do that," Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen said.

Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner appeared to take a sharp tone when addressing the issue.

"Governor Newsom, please understand the force of your own rhetoric. People will no more go to the beaches than they will to the stores if they feel unsafe! They did not feel unsafe at the beaches. They overwhelmingly practiced physical distancing according to local law enforcement and government leaders. If it is good enough for business to trust our citizens to act responsibly and observe your rules, it is good enough for beaches," Wagner said in a written statement.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors will discuss the issue on Tuesday.

Orange County became a focal point last week after crowds flocked to beaches to escape the first heat wave of the year, prompting Newsom's beach shutdown in the county on Friday.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom orders all OC beaches closed to prevent additional crowds violating physical distancing guidelines

Thousands of people gathered on the streets of Huntington Beach on Friday to protest the statewide stay-at-home orders.
The latest development comes after Gov. Newsom announced the next stage of reopening California's economy is expected to begin as early as Friday.
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Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the reopening of two Orange County beaches on Monday as the state prepares to enter the second phase of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.



The governor's order to close Orange County beaches has triggered several lawsuits.

Two suits filed last week sought an immediate temporary restraining order to overturn the governor's order, but a judge denied that request and set a hearing for later this month. One was filed by the cities of Huntington Beach and Dana Point and another was filed by elected officials in Dana Point, Mission Viejo and San Clemente who were acting as individuals.

The city of Newport Beach has also offered its support for the legal action.

Judge denies request to overturn Gov. Newsom's Orange County beach closure for now
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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.



Another lawsuit, filed by the same firm that filed one of last week's actions, was announced Monday. The federal suit filed by former Newport Beach mayor and current councilman Kevin Muldoon argues the governor's shutdown order is unconstitutional.

"The Governor's actions appear to be based more on politics applied to one county in California, rather than sound scientific guidance, evidence, or regard for competing Constitutional concerns," Muldoon said in a statement released by his law firm.
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