Yet another prohibition based on simplistic thinking

I had to chuckle when I read the recent articles announcing a new Del Mar law prohibiting charcoal barbeques on Del Mar’s beaches. As a 20-year resident having seen an accumulating list of prohibitions as well as “Nay” votes on most ideas meant to enhance the appeal and visitor-attractiveness of our town, it’s only natural that our administrators would think up another one. What intrigues me is the simplistic thinking behind the decision: A) Disposal of hot coals into the sand can/has caused injury or trashcan fire; B) That’s because unlike most other beaches we don’t have the proper disposal containers; C) But those containers are ugly – so let’s just ban the barbeques; D) Another problem solved!

A few obvious questions for those who thought this up: I assume the poor lifeguards will be told to enforce this law. How? Are they going to have to kick a family off the beach that just drove here from Rancho Bernardo, El Cajon, Arizona or flew in from Minnesota for a day on the sand? Will they be told to cook their lunch in the street? Or they must eat their burgers and hot dogs raw? I pity the lifeguards already.

Since this ban generally does not exist anywhere else, how will you inform the non-Del Mar residing public


they actually pack up the family and come here with their charcoal BBQ, only to have their day ruined? Have you thought of alternate plans like putting out a design competition to come up with “non-ugly” charcoal disposal containers? Or permitting charcoal BBQs in restricted part(s) of the beach so the poor “didn’t knows” will at least have some place to relocate?

This fits well with the long-standing announcement in the news media during each major holiday that all over San Diego parking meters are not enforced…except in Del Mar. Now they’ll have to add “and unless you own a gas grill, there is no barbequing at the beach there either.” This kind of stuff must be doing wonders for our tourist revenue! I doubt the individuals coming up with laws like this spend much time at the beach to begin with. But they sure hold up the “Olde” Del Mar colloquial thinking. Happy 4th of July for all!

Jan Svejkovsky

Del Mar