By Andrea Papagianis
In a unanimous decision Tuesday night, the Dana Point City Council decided to weigh in on a proposal to create a buffer zone between beachfront homes and public fire pits.
Earlier this year, the South Coast Air Quality Management District introduced a proposal to ban wood-burning fires along Orange and Los Angeles county beaches.
But amidst a growing debate, air quality regulators lessened the sweeping proposal and suggested wood-burning fires be permitted, so long as fire pits are at least 700 feet from the nearest home and 100 feet away from one another.
Between Doheny State and Capistrano beaches, Dana Point is home to 36 fire pits, 24 of which, according to a city staff report, would have to be removed or relocated if proposed regulations are implemented.
City leaders expressed concern the SCAQMD was over-stepping boundaries and in a letter to the air district’s governing board asked members to honor local control.
The SCAQMD Governing Board will formally vote on the proposal at a special meeting July 12 at its headquarters in Diamond Bar.