Clothing-Optional Beaches No Longer an Option

Tuesday, Jul 21, 2009  |  Updated 4:55 PM PDT
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Have no fear, you can still shed your suit and tan your can at San Francisco's Baker Beach.

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The Man is trying to keep the nudes down! California park officials can "enforce a ban on nudity at any state beach, even in areas that have been informally designated as clothing optional,"  according to a new State Appeals Court ruling.

But what about tan lines? Warn, cite or arrest: it's their decision. The ban has already taken effect, but officers are the ones who decide how severe the punishment should be.

"I'm pretty sure that we will try to tread lightly to get compliance at first," Roy Stearns, spokesman for the Sate Parks and Recreation Department, told SF Gate. "We're not in the business of hassling people. ... Officer discretion will play a role."

The ruling doesn't apply to federal parkland like Baker Beach (WHEW). Totally pissed about this? Then you're possibly in luck.

Lawyers for the Naturist Action Committee are going to appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

"It's time for the government to realize that nude sunbathing and skinny dipping has a long tradition in this country," said Allen Baylis, an attorney and officer of the committee.

The ruling comes just after the San Francisco Bay Guardian put out their 35th annual guide to the Bay Area's nude beaches. San Francisco received high marks for its unique nude sunbathing oppurtunities.

"San Francisco may be the only place in the country where it's possible to get away from your office and spend your lunch break basking in the sun without wearing a stitch of clothes before returning to the work grind," the paper wrote.

Curbed SF contributed to this story.

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