New Public Health Order Allowing Motorized Access to Certain Parks, Open Spaces & Directing Others Remain Closed to Motorized Access

Alert Status: 
Last modified: 
Monday, May 18, 2020 - 9:55am
Alert Category: 

Effective Monday, May 18. Link:

Some provisions:

1. This Order supersedes the April 29, 2020 Order (“Prior Order”) of the Health Officer Directing All Parks, Campgrounds, and Open Spaces to Continue Closing to Motorized Access.  This Order lifts the Prior Order’s restrictions related to motorized access of many – but not all – outdoor recreation areas within Marin County (“the County”), now leaving it to local jurisdictions to allow, limit or prohibit motorized access to those areas as appropriate.  This Order also extends the terms of the Prior Order to certain high-traffic, destination outdoor recreation areas, continuing the existing prohibitions against motorized access to the same in order to slow the transmission of Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”).  

2. When people need to leave their places of residence, they should remain as close to the same as practicable and at all times comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in the May 15 Order of the Health Officer of the County of Marin Directing All Individuals Living in the County to Continue Sheltering at Their Place of Residence (the “Shelter in Place Order”) or any subsequently issued order of the Health Officer.  All provisions of this Order should be interpreted to effectuate this intent.  Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this Order constitutes an imminent threat and menace to public health, constitutes a public nuisance, and is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. 

3. Unless specified otherwise in the following section, all agencies and jurisdictions operating public outdoor recreation areas, including but not limited to parks and open spaces (hereinafter, “Park Facilities”), within the County are hereby authorized to reopen all operations and services related to facilitating the public’s motorized access to all Park Facilities located within the County. This means that people will now be able to drive to and park at or near many of the Park Facilities within the County for the purpose of engaging in Essential Activities as defined in the Shelter in Place Order, including outdoor exercise.  However, local jurisdictions and authorities are authorized and encouraged to continue prohibiting as much motorized access to any Park Facility, even those otherwise entitled to reopen under this Order, as necessary to prevent crowds that cannot feasibly comply with the Social Distancing and other requirements of this and other Health Officer orders. All Park Facilities reopening to motorized access must be actively monitored and managed by the appropriate authority. Such management includes continuing to close by signage and/or physical barriers all portions of Park Facilities with high-touch equipment or that encourage gathering, including, but not limited to, playgrounds, gym equipment, climbing walls, benches, picnic areas, dog parks, pools, and barbecue areas.

4. Due to their high-traffic nature and the fact that they draw regional crowds from across the greater Bay Area, creating conditions where individuals cannot feasibly comply with Social Distancing Requirements, the following Park Facilities are not authorized to reopen to motorized access at this time: Point Reyes National Seashore, Golden Gate National Recreation Area (including Muir Woods National  Monument), Mount Tamalpais State Park, Tomales Bay State Park, Samuel P Taylor State Park, Chicken Ranch Beach, Miller Park, White House Pool Park, Bolinas Lagoon Open Space Preserve, Bolinas Park, all Marin Municipal Water District lands, and all beaches along the Pacific Ocean or inlets of the Pacific Ocean (not including the San Francisco Bay).  However, individuals may continue to responsibly access these Park Facilities if they are local to their residences and readily accessible by foot, bicycle or other non-motorized means for the purpose of engaging in Essential Activities as defined in the Shelter in Place Order, including outdoor exercise. Such access of Park Facilities shall continue to be exclusively by non-motorized means, except that  disabled individuals with vehicles possessing current and valid Disabled Person (DP) Parking Placards or DP License Plates may continue to access the above-listed Park Facilities by motorized means but only to the minimum extent necessary to engage in Essential Activities, Any motorized vehicle driving to or parking around a Park Facility named in this section for the purpose of accessing that Park Facility is in violation of this Order unless it is displaying a DP Parking Placard or DP License Plate. Violation of any of the provisions of this Order constitutes an imminent threat and menace to public health, constitutes a public nuisance, and is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

posted by Lynn Axelrod,


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