The front in the war between rampant exercisers and NIMBYs has moved from Santa Monica down to Manhattan Beach. In September, the Manhattan Beach City Council banned exercise equipment from city parks. Now they're considering permanently closing off the sand dune in Sand Dune Park (it's been temporarily closed since August), while a group of "Duners" is fighting for stricter regulations to prevent the shutdown. A man who's started a Duner website writes in to Curbed "The local residents essentially want to shut it down as too many 'outsiders' use the Dune to work-out." He says he's gotten hundreds of supportive emails, but that "unfortunately, the city council really only listens to [M]anhattan [B]each residents."
Why is the dune worth fighting for? From the Duners' website: "As far as we can ascertain, the Sand Dune Park in Manhattan Beach is the only opportunity for a zero impact, incline/decline workout in Southern California! The Sand Dune in Manhattan Beach’s Sand Dune Park stands alone by providing an outside, total workout of cardio and muscle with zero impact to the body." The group admits that because this dune is so awesome, traffic has increased a lot over the past several years, with the city putting peak time summer visits at 9,000, and more people bringing more traffic, noise, and litter.
The Manhattan Beach City Council will decide the fate of the dune at their January 19 meeting. Duners admit that the city has already "reduced hours, established quiet hours, increased onsite staff, hired a Park Ranger, installed a traffic circle, prohibited large groups without permit, reduced large groups from 50 to 15, installed more trash cans, and increased enforcement measures with citations," but they argue a total shutdown is unprecedented and are asking instead for a reduction in peak hour use, a limit to the number of people who can use the dune at one time, a possible permit and fee, and penalties for abuse. [Image via Save the Sand Dune]
· Save the Sand Dune [Official Site]
· Sand Dune Park's dune likely to stay closed through end of year [Daily Breeze]