Below are some thoughts to why keeping the Sand Dune open is consistent with other similar areas:
Q. Has the Sand Dune at Sand Dune Park in Manhattan Beach seen a significant increase in usage?
A. Yes, like almost all parks and recreational areas in desirable locations around Southern California, each of these destinations have attracted more users than the local neighborhood can handle.
Q. Has any of these places been permanently shut down?
A. Not to our knowledge. For example, Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach, “The Steps” in Santa Monica, Runyon Canyon Park in Hollywood, and even Del Cerro Park in Palos Verdes are all neighborhood parks that have all seen their once local, recreational area, evolve into an exercise destination – but none have closed down to the public.
Q. What demographic(s) have contributed to this increase at the Sand Dune?
A. Certainly, broader publicity has incrementally brought in more users, but mouth-to-mouth testimonials as well as more children and families have equally contributed to this increase. The increase in children and family usage was stated by the Park Ranger during a recent PPIC meeting as a demographic that has increased just as any other demographic.
Q. How many people use the Sand Dune at Sand Dune Park in Manhattan Beach?
A. According to city records, peak usage during the summer months can reach 9,000 while off-season usage drops down to half this number. However, even at peak season, this averages out to only 21 people per hour.
Q. Is there increased noise, litter, traffic, and parking problems?
A. Definitely, all the above have increased along with the attendance. However, while traffic remains one of the biggest issues, the overwhelming majority of users are quiet and respectful of the Dune and surrounding areas.
Q.If the neighborhood has been impacted, what has the city done to mitigate these issues?
A. While the city has implemented many actions over the years such as 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, peak usage times still need to be addressed.
Q.What is wrong with turning back the clock 40 years and close the Dune?
A. This is a valid, but impractical solution as all towns grow and develop areas that are meant to benefit the entire community. Otherwise, this logic could extend to restaurants, schools, shopping areas that have all benefited the majority while unfortunately leaving the adjacent neighborhood to bear the brunt of decades of growth.
Q. Why can't they just limit the visitors to city residents only?
A. Well, first off - it's a public park that should remain consistent with the spirit of the commonwealth we American are very fortunate to share with each other as we visit communities around town or around the country. Secondly, this park has received Los Angeles County funding and by received these funds, Manhattan Beach also agreed to the stipulation that there could be no discrimination based upon county residence. However, there does remain some confusion as to whether or not this would, should, or could apply to the Sand Dune itself as part of the park or not.
Q. Well, what did the local residents who purchased their house next to a public park expect?
A. This is a very common response to those who are not from the neighborhood and at even first glance a logical question. However, the truth is that the park's increase in popularity has seen its most signficant spike only during the past few years and peak usage times have become problematic.