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Online petition calls for reopening Nueces County beaches

Posted at 8:44 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 23:28:21-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A petition at ipetitions.com calls for reopening Nueces County beaches, which includes allowing people to park and drive on them.

"We want to be able to drive on our beaches and don't want a curfew limiting our time," the petition reads.

Last week, Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales extended the vehicle ban and the 8:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew until August 17.

Allowing county crews more room and time to repair beaches, access roads, and dunes from Hurricane Hanna damage is one of her reasons for the extension. Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is another.

Some locals are taking the restrictions in stride.

“That’s OK," Corpus Christi resident Frank Silva said. "I mean, it’s for a greater good, you know? Adjustments have to be made.”

Silva said he covers seven miles of beach on foot each night, and he likes to turn toward the west and watch the sunset. The curfew makes that difficult, but understands, under the circumstances.

"The local police are more than nice about it," he said. "They’re not using a heavy-handed approach, but they’re nevertheless enforcing the restrictions. So, I think they strike a good balance.”

Tourists are also left juggling the beach restrictions.

“We thought we could drive on the beach when we were looking into coming down here, but I guess that kind of changed in the last couple of days and we weren’t able to drive on the beach now," Marcos Lechuga said.

Lechuga and his family are visiting from Fort Worth. They, like Silva, are staying positive amid the beach vehicle ban and curfew.

“(It) really hasn’t set us back," he said. "It’s just a little extra work having to haul our stuff down a little (farther) rather than just drive up to a spot.”

As of 8 p.m. Monday the online petition had 1,358 signatures.

KRIS 6 News made contact with Canales' chief executive for comment on the petition but we have yet to receive a response.

KRIS 6 News also obtained court documents Monday revealing that a Nueces County man is suing Corpus Christi, Mayor Joe McComb, Nueces County, and Canales.

William Rickertsen said the defendants breached the contract associated with the beach parking permits he bought "sometime in the first several months of 2020" by closing beaches.