You’d be hard-pressed to go outside during the spring or summer and not see at least one person wearing flip-flops, but two San Juan Capistrano, Calif., parks have banned the footwear—and city officials are trying to figure out why.
The flip-flop ban is in place at Los Rios Park in the city’s historic district and at a new dog park, city spokeswoman Cathy Salcedo told The Orange County Register.
The rule was virtually unnoticed at Los Rios, but when the rules were posted at the dog park, which opened in August, several commissioners with the city's Parks, Recreation and Senior Services were very confused.
“I wouldn’t think twice about going into the dog park in my flip-flops,” said Commission Vice Chairwoman Jenny Friess to The Los Angeles Times. “I don’t think we need to really be telling people what to wear on their feet.”
Commission Secretary Cynthia Alexander said Monday city staff told her that the ban was designed to protect the city from liability under the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority’s template, which provides liability insurance to dozens of California cities.
Salcedo, the spokeswoman, said she believed the ban had been implemented by recommendation of the city’s insurer but added that she was trying to confirm that with the project manager who oversaw Los Rios Park.
Alexander said the rule is not enforced because there is no supervision at the park.
“If you go to the park with flip-flops there’s no one going to tell you to leave the park,” she said. “You’re using it at your own risk.”