Tensions growing in Sunset Cliffs over big crowds after park reopens

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 23:35:37-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Tensions are growing in Sunset Cliffs between some locals and visitors. Now that the park is back open, some locals say people are flocking there and disrespecting the neighborhood by blocking traffic and blasting music.

There’s concern the crowds will get bigger as the hot weather continues into the weekend.

This Thursday, viewers sent 10News images of Sunset Cliffs from Wednesday night that show cars parked bumper to bumper, lining the street. A video posted to Facebook by one local shows what she described as a never-ending stream of cars on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.

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“Yesterday was just unacceptable,” says Michaela Griffin, of Sunset Cliffs. “I think that I really would've normally not cared that much but I have anxiety right because no one was following the social distancing. People were blaring music and blocking driveways. Like, it turned into a spring break party."

Griffin says she lost both grandparents last week to the virus. She explains that she's not trying to take away anyone’s fun by speaking out. She simply wants visitors to act responsibly.

"I just don't think that as a community we're really looking at the larger impact of what that means when we're all crowding these beaches. We're going to get sick. We're going to be quarantined longer [and] the beaches are going to be closed for longer," she adds.

RELATED: Some San Diego parks set to reopen amid pandemic

This Thursday morning, it was a calmer scene at Sunset Cliffs.

“We're all pretty cognizant in being vigilant about keeping our distance and playing by the rules because we want to get past this,” says local Cary Shillington.

However, some locals like Griffin are bracing for the weekend.

RELATED: After weekend protests, Gov. Newsom urges social distancing

“I just don’t want to have to tell people to not come watch our sunsets. I want people to watch the sunset but I want people to be mindful of how we’re watching the sunset,” Griffin said.

A spokesperson for the San Diego Police Department said he’s unaware of any citations that were issued on Wednesday night. He said officers will do normal enforcement this weekend to monitor crowds and gatherings.