How are Boca’s beach condo residents handling the new restrictions? Can people who live in 63 Boca oceanfront buildings still use their private beach after the public beaches were closed?
Yes and no. Managers, presidents and boards were asked 10 questions as members of the Beach Condominium Association of Boca Raton and Highland Beach. “We are trying to put out information so everyone starts to react the same way,” said president Emily Gentile. For instance, the town of Highland Beach interpreted the county’s order to close all beaches meant public and private.
Not so in Boca. “Can people go on private beaches? Yes,” Gentile said. The survey asked decision makers if each condo was closing beach access and shutting down gyms, social rooms, barbecues, tennis and pickleball courts. Wherever residents congregate. “We’re encouraging people to get fresh air, but not to assemble.”
Gentile said she’s getting feedback on other coronavirus precautions. “Should they allow delivery services in their building? Most have set it up at the front desk and people will have to come and get it,” she said. “Many are opting for no guests.” Most condos are stopping construction except for emergencies, and minimizing external traffic and deliveries, she added. “A lot of communities with food service are not doing it in clubhouse seating; it’s all takeout out to a certain hour,” she added.
Is there anything different from routine hurricane preparation? “Quite different. Taking it more seriously,” Gentile said. “I see people walking, but things are much, much quieter. People are staying home. We want to listen and get back to our lives. A hurricane passes. This goes on for weeks. We’ve all come together really well.”
By Marci Shatzman