Some La Jolla churches and fitness centers not leaping at chance to use city parks for outdoor services

Permitting opens Monday, Aug. 24, for any San Diego church or fitness center that wants to apply to operate outdoors in one of the 340 city parks. But several La Jolla churches and exercise facilities indicated they would not seek a permit.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer signed an executive order Aug. 18 to ease the process and offer relief from shutdowns of indoor activities prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The order waives the permitting fees for 60 days, which could be extended by City Council vote.

Outdoor religious services, fitness classes and camps are eligible under the order. Businesses must display their San Diego County Safe Reopening Plan, hold insurance naming the city of San Diego as an additional insured and have a city business tax certificate as of Aug. 1.

“There is no city better than San Diego to take advantage of the fact that COVID-19 has a harder time spreading outdoors. Using parks as part of our pandemic relief response will help the mental health and physical health of thousands of San Diegans,” Faulconer said. “This executive order lets San Diegans work out and worship in parks across our city. Starting [Aug. 24] you can join a small group to pray, do Pilates or part ways with your Quarantine 15 weight gain, all in a healthy outdoor environment.”

But the Rev. Tim Seery of Congregational Church of La Jolla said: “We don’t even think anything outside is safe. Our music director and several of our members have not left their homes since March. We won’t resume anything until there is a vaccine and the congregation has had a chance to all get it. So sometime in mid- to late 2021, hopefully.”

Mary Skeen, principal of All Hallows Academy, said the associated All Hallows Catholic Church doesn’t have plans to apply for a permit.

The Rev. Denise Jackson of Prince Chapel by the Sea African Methodist Episcopal Church said the board had not decided whether to apply.

La Jolla’s larger and more equipment-dependent exercise facilities are not expected to seek the permit.

La Jolla Sports Club owner Brett Murphy said he would not apply because it would involve regularly transporting equipment to and from a park and would not be “fiscally responsible.”

The Life Time fitness club temporarily closed all services at its La Jolla location earlier this year.

Other exercise facilities did not immediately respond to the La Jolla Light’s requests for comment.

Faulconer’s executive order came after San Diego City Council member Chris Cate proposed allowing certain businesses, nonprofits and faith-based organizations to operate in city parks.

San Diego County earlier this month moved to allow gyms and churches to hold services and classes at county parks, also waiving permitting fees.

The La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory group debated Cate’s proposal during its July 27 meeting.

“We are dealing with an extraordinary situation with the pandemic,” member Ken Hunrichs said. “[We could] encourage the city to bend and allow the businesses to shift their business — particularly someone that has a gym or yoga studio — to use the park. I don’t think anyone anticipates an auto parts store moving to the park. This is for businesses to survive.”

However, Debbie Beachum, who has long opposed what she calls “commercialization of the parks,” said: “Sometimes when it becomes commercialized, the public doesn’t get a chance to use it to walk quietly or experience the park. People are really craving outdoor spaces for exercise, and if we take those spaces and commercialize them, we are taking away recreation opportunities in our parks, which is what they are there for.”

“There is nothing to say there wouldn’t be a flood of business from other vendors in the city,” she added, “so our local merchants might have to compete against someone from the same business just because it’s open.”

New permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for each park, depending on demand and total space available, according to a city staff report. Because park space is limited, so are the permits.

The city Parks and Recreation Department is handling the permitting. The number of applicants for La Jolla’s Scripps Park and Kellogg Park were not yet available Aug. 21. ◆

— to www.lajollalight.com

Related Articles

Financial Express - Business News, Stock Market News

Sportswear brands and etailers make hay as demand for fitness products surges

Brands such as Nike, Reebok and Puma have started offering a few products in the fitness equipment category, although sportswear is their mainstay. There has been heightened awareness about health and fitness in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. As gyms remain closed, consumers are resorting to home workouts, and turning to online videos and […]
Read more

School closures cut a critical line to dental care for poor students – The Virginian-Pilot

Hygienists typically examine students in classrooms, gyms or nurses’ offices, where they look for cavities, provide fluoride treatments and apply sealants — thin, protective coatings that adhere to the chewing surface of back teeth. Children receive free toothbrushes and toothpaste and are taught proper dental care, said Myechia Minter-Jordan, president and chief executive of DentaQuest […]
Read more
novel Coronavirus, US Bureau of Labour, fitness editor

Dynamic and flourishing sector – The Statesman

The maxim rightly suggests that every cloud has a silver lining; similarly, the mayhem caused by the novel Coronavirus brought with itself several positive changes in the everyday lives of individuals. One of these spoke about the increase in awareness and the growing focus on health and fitness. Citizens, across the globe, have understood the […]
Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search for: