Parking lot where display is held is on City of LA land, not Santa Monica, allowing Club to obtain permit
By Dolores Quintana
The Beach Club in Santa Monica holds an annual fireworks show for the Fourth of July weekend. This year, the animal rights non-profit organization People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals has been attempting to stop this fireworks display.
PETA makes several claims in a letter, including accusing The Beach Club of violating Santa Monica’s ordinance prohibiting the use of fireworks or fireworks displays in the city. Megan Wiltsie, PETA’s media officer said in an email to the Santa Monica Mirror’s editor.
Fireworks—which PETA says are distressing to animals, children, veterans, the elderly, and other noise-sensitive individuals—are illegal in Santa Monica, but the club has skirted the ban by obtaining a permit in the City of Los Angeles, where its parking lot is. Last year, a Santa Monica fireworks display contributed to the death of a local dog named Darwin, who got spooked by the fireworks while on a walk, pulled her leash out of her guardian’s hand, and ran onto the Pacific Coast Highway, where she was hit by a car.
“The booms and blasts of fireworks can drive terrified dogs away from their guardians, scare wildlife out of their nests, spew toxic particles, and cast veterans’ minds back to the worst days of war,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on The Beach Club to be a good neighbor and replace the pyrotechnics with a show everyone can enjoy.”
The Santa Monica Mirror contacted Ivee Yu, the general manager of The Beach Club and this was her response to the letter from PETA.
“Thank you for the opportunity to respond on behalf of The Beach Club. I am deeply saddened to hear of our neighbor’s tragedy. As an owner of two dogs, I cannot imagine their loss.
The Beach Club has been a proud member of the Santa Monica and Los Angeles communities for 99 years and we are committed to being responsible neighbors. Our Fourth of July celebration has been a tradition for over 30 years and is enjoyed by our club community and many thousands of Los Angeles and Santa Monica residents. While our main address lists us in Santa Monica, many are not aware that our property also falls within the City of Los Angeles. The club coordinates with the City of Los Angeles to ensure proper precautions are taken and permits received to create a special holiday celebration.
This year, our fireworks show will occur on July 2nd at 9:00 pm and notice to our neighbors will be shared in advance to ensure awareness.”
While PETA’s president made the claim that The Beach Club’s fireworks display is secretive, public notices of the upcoming fireworks display from The Beach Club can be found on sites like Facebook, Patch.com, KTLA.com.
When we asked Megan Wiltsie if PETA had sent letters to other entities that are holding fireworks displays locally, for example, the Pacific Palisades Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks show that is held at Palisades Charter School which is roughly 2.4 miles away from The Beach Club, this was Wiltsie’s response.
“Fireworks are illegal in Santa Monica, yet The Beach Club secretly made plans to set off a noisy display that will disrupt and distress animals and other vulnerable individuals. We sent the letter after receiving complaints from concerned residents about The Beach Club’s fireworks show, including from the resident whose dog was hit by a car and died last year after she was spooked by fireworks, pulled her leash out of her guardian’s hand, and ran onto the Pacific Coast Highway. PETA contacts city officials and private establishments every year—including in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Costa Mesa—to encourage them to ban or cancel firework shows and offers to contribute to fundraising efforts to help facilitate the switch to light or drone shows which are exciting and don’t cause wildlife and other animals to flee in panic.
The Santa Monica Mirror reached out to CD 11 City Councilperson Mike Bonin’s office, but did not receive a response as of press time.
The City of Santa Monica, when reached for comment, provided the following comment from Fire Chief Danny Alvarez.
“The area used for the firework show is on a separate parcel in the City of Los Angeles and has a Los Angeles address. The Santa Monica Fire Department does not have jurisdictional authority over that address. Therefore, they are not in violation of the City of Santa Monica’s fireworks ban,” Alvarez said.