SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Thursday, the California Coastal Commission ordered 'Campland on the Bay' and 'Mission Bay RV Resort', which are two public trust state tidelands, to pay more than a quarter million dollars in penalties over public access.
"They had a bunch of signs up saying that it was only for private use only, and that it was only for guests of paying customers and their website promoted it like a private luxurious beach," said Chief Enforcement Officer of the Commission, Lisa Haage.
VP of Operations to both RV parks, Jacob Gelfand, said that is not the case.
"We take it really seriously our role as proactive conscientious stewards of these tidelands for the whole community to enjoy."
The two groups agreed on Thursday that the parks would pay $750,000 for free summer camps for underprivileged youth. Penalties that are part of the settlement negotiated between the operator and the committee also include requirements for providing new public toilets, electric vehicle charging stations, and remove any signage or fencing that make the beaches look private.
Haage said the removal will help clearly show the beaches are for public use.
"The public has always had the right to go there and we are just trying to clarify ways to show that they can go out there."
While the park operator has welcomed these requests, some environmentalists believe that it is not enough. However, both parties said that the parks are a necessary low cost option for some to be able to access the coast.
"In this pandemic and post pandemic environment, you know how the whole hospitality industry has shifted, and the importance of affordable overnight accommodations including RV camping," said Gelfand, "which has just exploded in popularity, is more crucial than every before for so many San Diego families and visitors."
The parks will return with a plan as to how they will implement these measures in 60 days. Once it is approved by the commission, it will take immediate effect.
The Coastal Commission wants beach goers to know that while the changes for public amenities have not taken effect, the beach is open to the public and can be accessed by all.