On September 28, 2020, the California Department of Public Health announced reopening guidelines for public playgrounds. Under the State’s definition, SAMLARC’s playgrounds do not qualify as public playgrounds and are excluded from the reopening guidance. According to the Department, public playgrounds are currently defined as:
Free to enter and use
Operated by a city, state, county, or federal government
Designed primarily to serve nearby residents within a half a mile
Can provide State-mandated outdoor space for preschools (which could be scheduled in advance to avoid overlapping use)
Typically includes recreational equipment, like play structures, slides, swings, etc. intended to enrich children's physical health and development
SAMLARC’s amenities were built for Members, are funded by Member assessments, and are operated by the Association. Therefore, the SAMLARC playground are considered private by the State and County. In addition, SAMLARC does not hold agreements to provide outdoor space for preschools. Though the Board of Directors is disappointed that the current guidance excludes SAMLARC, compliance with the State’s mandates is imperative.
The Board of Directors, as well as SAMLARC’s Management Company, FirstService Residential, are closely monitoring developments that may allow SAMLARC playgrounds to reopen. The Board Executive Committee Related to COVID-19 is reviewing the CDPH guidance so that once SAMLARC’s playgrounds are able to reopen, operations can be conducted in a manner that supports public health.
As parents, leaders, and friends, each Board Director recognizes the difficulties that COVID-19 has presented to families. The Board is working to continue offering services in a way that protects the community’s safety while fostering community connections. Thank you for your continued partnership as SAMLARC navigates County and State reopening measures.