Beach Fire Rings Survey Results Released – Shows
Overwhelming Support for Keeping Fire Rings As Is, and
Strong Disapproval of Politicians who Oppose
Group calls on City of Newport Beach
to be Truthful and Transparent
Newport Beach, CA – In its on-going efforts to thwart the attempts of a handful of Newport Beach politicians seeking to remove beach fire rings from the city’s public beaches as part of keeping “outsiders” away from its posh neighborhoods, the Friends of the Fire Rings released the results of its on-line survey today of Newport Beach and OC residents showing overwhelming support for keeping the fire rings as is, and strong disapproval of politicians trying to alter and remove the fire rings (view results here).
As the result of pressure from state lawmakers during recent legislative negotiations in Sacramento, the City of Newport Beach was compelled to submit a permit application to the California Coastal Commission with a plan for the fire rings that is consistent with the California Coastal Act. There application was initially rejected as being incomplete and inconsistent with the CA Coastal Act, including attempts to limit free public access and use through requiring unpopular and expensive charcoal requirements.
Friends of the Fire Rings will forward a copy of the survey results, as well as a copy of the organization’s similar 2013 survey, to both the California Coastal Commission, as part of important background information related to any current proposals that may remove or alter any of California beach fire rings.
The main results of the on-line survey (sample size: 1,200) are:
- 92.4% of survey participants believe the city of Newport Beach should leave the fire rings alone.
- 83.2% do NOT believe that charcoal provides the same experience as wood.
- 87% of participants believe the city’s hiring 8 part-time staff to hand-out literature and free charcoal at the beaches is not a wise use of taxpayer dollars
- 90.1% believe that the city giving away free charcoal to all visitors to the beaches is not a wise use of taxpayer dollars
- 83.6% said they would be LESS LIKELY to vote for a city council candidate who opposes the fire rings
- 87.5% of participants would support a Newport Beach ballot measure that would require over 50% majority approval of residents before the city could seek a permit for removal of the fire rings.
- 87.3% responded that they would be LESS likely to use the Newport Beach fire rings should the city continue to require only charcoal
“We are hoping the City of Newport Beach stops disregarding the overwhelming will of the people, especially its own residents, and be truthful about what they are doing. Keeping the fire rings ‘as is’ continues to be overwhelmingly popular, and the city’s ‘charcoal-only’ gimmick is incredibly unpopular – contradictory to the city’s unfounded claims that their short-term ‘charcoal-only’ rules are working, and long-term plans for removal are popular.“ stated Brenna Hughes, a Coordinator with Friends of the Fire Rings.
“Plain and simple – this is all about a handful of city politicians and their friends who want to discriminate and keep ‘outsiders’ away from their expensive neighborhoods by decreasing the use of the popular public beaches in Newport Beach,” claimed Hughes.
“These politicians should listen to its residents, be transparent, and stop wasting taxpayer dollars on discriminatory agendas,” explained Hughes. “With the new air quality rules, the city is fully able to keep all 60 rings as wood-burning by simply spreading them out, and, while it waits for the Coastal Commission to make a decisio, the city could designate every other fire ring for wood or another fuel source,” said Hughes.
Friends of the Fire Rings is a 501c4 non-profit organization. For more information about the recent 2014 on-line survey, the 2013 survey, and the history of the fire rings, please visit: SaveTheFireRings.org.