South Haven can now close beach, pier during hazardous conditions

Van Buren County

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — South Haven’s city council voted Monday to give the city the option to close the beach and the pier during hazardous conditions.

The city created a committee late in 2020 to look at safety improvements at the city’s beaches. Recommendations included putting a gate on the piers to keep people off and prohibit access to the water from public beaches during hazardous weather conditions.

Violating the new ordinance is a civil infraction and will come with a $1,000 fine. There are some expectations for recreational sports like kiteboarding.

City Manager Kate Hoiser says the recommendation is not something they took lightly.

“I understand people think we’re ticking a box but we went through a pretty exhaustive beach safety committee and these are things that came out of that,” Hoiser said. “We implemented those last year and started to implement them before the beach season started.  This is just one more thing we’re trying to implement that safety review has suggested we do this.”

Hosier estimates the cost to the city will be about $20,000 to install the gates on the pier.

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