BY MARIE PULEO | LIGHTHOUSE POINT NEWS REPORTER
LIGHTHOUSE POINT REOPENING PHASE ONE: Mayor Glenn Troast has issued an order to facilitate the city’s implementation of state and county orders for a Phase 1 reopening to begin in Broward County on Monday, May 18.
The order Troast issued on Friday terminated the safer-at-home order he issued in April because the Phase 1 reopening will allow people to go restaurants and non-essential businesses. However, his order does not affect any restrictions or requirements in state or county orders that apply to the city.
Troast said the City is continuing to do all it can to help its businesses get up and running in a safe and effective manner. His new Lighthouse Point reopening order includes some measures to accomplish that.
As per the order Troast issued Friday, restaurants in Lighthouse Point will be allowed temporary additional outdoor seating for a period of up to 60 days starting on May 18, as long as the owners of the building or shopping center where the restaurant is located submit a written request to the City via email and it is approved by the City.
The additional outdoor seating can be in areas currently used for parking or vehicular traffic, subject to compliance with social distancing guidelines, and proper maintenance of pedestrian and customer safety.
The restaurant must allow the additional outdoor seating areas to be inspected by the City’s Police, Fire and Building Departments.
To implement these emergency temporary actions, any City ordinance relating to a limit on outdoor seating capacity, required parking or other requirements for outdoor seating is waived if the establishment has received the necessary approval from the City.
When the City approval has expired, the establishment must return the outdoor areas to their former state.
Temporary additional outdoor seating cannot go beyond any area previously approved by the City to permit the presence of dogs.
If a restaurant wants to put up a tent, it will be subject to inspection and approval by the City, said Troast.
Consistent with an order issued by Troast on March 25, businesses legally operating under the state and county orders within the city’s nonresidential zoning districts may continue to have one banner sign or “feather” sign of up to 12 square feet, and one sandwich board or sidewalk sign of up to six-square feet on each side. These signs are not permitted in any right-of-way and cannot be attached to any pubic or utility infrastructure, such as street lights and traffic signal posts.
TENNIS AND OTHER RACQUET SPORTS COURTS
Tennis and other racquet sports facilities can reopen, as long as all CDC guidelines, including social distancing are strictly enforced.
This includes the Lighthouse Point Yacht Club Tennis Center and racquet sports facilities at condominiums. The Lighthouse Point Tennis Center reopened on May 4.
Players are prohibited from using courts without a reservation made in advance. Players must not arrive at the courts more than 15 minutes prior to their reservation time.
Players must wear face masks at all times when not on a court, and are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer.
Courts will maintain no more than 50% of capacity with staggered use of every other court. Physical distancing of six feet must be maintained, and no congregating on the court or sidelines is allowed. Players must leave the courts and adjacent areas immediately after completing play.
If restrooms are open, they must be cleaned throughout the day. Employees must wear face coverings at all times when interacting with anyone other than fellow employees. Employees should also use gloves when cleaning surfaces and handling objects and forms of payment such as cash, credit cards and chits.
Areas of courts commonly touched by players, such as entrance gates and benches, should be sanitized frequently.
All courts and associated facilities must be secured and locked when not open for use.
No league play or group lessons are allowed, including mixers, round robins, live ball or family tennis nights.
Private lessons with no more than two participants are allowed. Pros and participants must wear face coverings when within six feet of each other, even on the court.
Only employees can pick up balls during and at the end of a lesson. Tubes and hoppers will be disinfected after each lesson.
No demo racquets should be made available to members of a club or tennis center.
These requirements may be relaxed by the mayor without the need for further emergency orders.
The Lighthouse Point library will remain closed to the public until further notice, and may reopen upon the discretion of the library director.
All the libraries in Broward County are discussing together how and when to reopen, said Troast. Their goal is to the open in a uniform manner with a uniform set of rules.
The use of city parks will remain as set forth in an order the mayor issued on April 28.
Dan Witt Park will remain closed until further notice. It can be reopened at a future date upon approval of the city administrator or mayor, without the need for a subsequent order.
The configuration of the park is not set up for passive activities, said Troast, and the tennis courts there are not monitored, so proper sanitization cannot be assured.
DeGroff Park will be open for passive uses only. For now, the beach area will remain closed, but it can reopen at the discretion of the city’s recreation director.
Exchange Club Park, which is located in Pompano Beach, will remain closed until further notice, based on an agreement with the Pompano Beach mayor.
Frank McDonough Park will be open for passive uses only. The playgrounds, basketball courts and fitness areas will remain closed until further notice.
All bike racks, water fountains and bathrooms at city parks will remain closed.
Use of residential pools will be permitted under guidelines included in orders issued by the county.
As per the current county order, pools at single-family and duplex residences can be used only by the residents who live there. Pools and pool decks at multi-family housing developments can be used by current residents only, provided that six-foot social distancing guidelines are adhered to, and occupancy is limited to 50% of capacity.
A sufficient number of employees or designees of the housing development must supervise the use of the pool deck and pool during the hours they are used to ensure compliance with the rules. All pool chairs, railings, gates, tables, showers and other equipment at the pool deck and pool must be sanitized on a regular basis or all furnishings must be removed from the pool deck.
BOATING AND MARINE ACTIVITIES
Boating and marine activities will be permitted under guidelines included in orders issued by the county.
Per the current county order, boats must remain at least 50 feet apart at all times, and the roping or tying together of boats or vessels is prohibited.
Up to six people are allowed on boats measuring 25 feet or less, including four adult passengers, plus children 17 and under. Boats measuring 26 to 36 feet are allowed up to eight people (six adult passengers maximum). Boats measuring 37 to 60 feet are allowed up to 10 people (eight adult passengers maximum). Boats over 60 feet can have up to 10 passengers, inclusive of adults and children, but not including crew members.
Beaching, landing or anchoring of vessels on sandbars, islands or open shorelines is prohibited.
In areas where there are boat ramps, only one boat per launch ramp at a time is permitted.
No gathering of more than 10 people is allowed at any time during boat launch and when removing the boat from the water. Launching venue staff, as well as customers, must practice social distancing and wear personal protective equipment, including facial coverings and gloves, in connection with use of marinas, boat docks, ramps and other launching venues.
The Lighthouse Point reopening order will take effect at 12:01am on May 18, and will remain in place for as long as Florida’s state of emergency is in effect, unless terminated earlier. It can be enforced by any law enforcement officer of the City of Lighthouse Point, or any officer or employee with any agency with jurisdiction over matters covered by the order.
Troast noted that a new order issued by the governor on Friday conflicts with certain provisions in the Phase 1 reopening order issued by the county on Thursday. Those inconsistencies are currently being worked out by the state and county, he said.
One of those conflicts is whether commercial gyms, in addition to gyms in housing developments, should be allowed to reopen.
For more information regarding COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) website.