BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — There is no indication as of Wednesday morning that Boca Raton’s “Beach Parks” will open for Memorial Day weekend.
In the confusing world of executive orders and beach terminology, the City of Boca Raton continues to keep the beach parks closed despite permission from Palm Beach County to reopen. While beaches in the city are accessible, there is no parking lot parking, bathrooms remain shuttered, and lifeguards are NOT on duty in the City of Boca Raton.
The City of Boca Raton has neither issued a statement nor held a news conference regarding the beaches since Palm Beach County moved into full “phase one” of the reopening plan.
Just a short hop to the north, however, beaches in the City of Delray Beach are now fully functional — as are most other beaches in Palm Beach County. The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners ordered to allow beaches to open, starting May 18th.
The list below is the official list of “beach parks” in the City of Boca Raton.
- Spanish River Park
- Bark Beach at Spanish River Park
- Red Reef Park
- Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
- Alan C. Alford Golf Course at Red Reef
- South Beach Park
- South Beach Pavilion
- South Inlet Park (PBC Beach will remain closed)
As we’ve reported repeatedly, local municipalities are allowed to enforce “more restrictive” but not “less restrictive” orders than Palm Beach County or State of Florida. There is nothing stopping the City of Boca Raton from keeping beach parks closed indefinitely.
One potential issue: compliance. Palm Beach County Commissioners spent considerable time during a recent meeting debating whether lifeguards or police should enforce social distancing requirements. The police are apparently disinterested in “beach patrol,” and lifeguard representatives said they have enough to deal with just keeping swimmers safe. That leaves the question of who is responsible for telling people to follow the rules countywide.
For local municipalities, like Boca Raton, the question very much remains an issue — will police or lifeguards enforce social distancing?
Until that question is resolved, a complete Boca beach reopening is unlikely.
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