Suggesting that the Covid-19 shutdown could extend well into June, Board President President Steve Spanier has made it clear that OVA is not responsible for enforcing restrictions.
“Please recognize that OVA is not the enforcer of city, county and state law,” Spanier said in a community message read at the April 21 board meeting conducted on line. ”So please don’t contact OVA directors or staff to report perceived transgressions. If you feel very strongly about what you see, you may contact the county or the police, but please recognize they have many other things to do and will likely not prioritize very highly your photograph of someone walking on the golf course.”
Sonoma County has been under a shelter in place order since mid March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the county directive specifically declared parks and other outdoor recreational areas off limits, many Oakmont residents believed it did not apply to the OVA-owned golf courses.
Among other reasons, Spanier said, OVA “is third in line” behind the county and Advance Golf Partners, which now leases the golf property, “in determining when and how walking on the courses is permitted.”
“Walking on the golf courses is still not permitted. Both OVA and AGP have contacted the county (twice each) and confirmed this is the case on all four separate occasions,” Spanier said. “We’re aware that some continue to do so under the apparent belief that, since we own the courses, they have the right to do so. This is incorrect reasoning.”
Spanier also made it clear that it is up to residents to decide whether to allow private gardeners to continue working. “Private gardeners are permitted only when needed for safety and sanitary reasons, he said. However, “We’re aware some are stretching interpretations of the words “safety” and “sanitary” to scarcely credible ends. The county admits their requirements are open to interpretation, so please act responsibly when doing so.”
Spanier also sited these items “of interest to Oakmonters:”
• “The county’s orders don’t preclude outdoor gatherings unless appropriate social distancing is not possible. But, when gathering in neighborhoods, backyards and elsewhere, the county’s orders require maintaining a six-foot social distance;
• “Although facial coverings are not mandated by the county’s orders when walking around Oakmont, they are required if you can’t maintain six-foot social distance. Be especially careful when veering into Oakmont streets to avoid others.”