LOS ANGELES (CNS) – 11:22am
An ordinance prohibiting people from leaving their personal items, tents and bulky items at city parks will be considered today by the Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and River Committee.
Under the proposed rules, the city would be able to remove items that remain at the park after closing hours if the park has a sign stating that items must be removed before park closure. If there is no sign, then 24-hours notice may be given before the property is be removed.
Any removed property would be kept by the city for 90 days, after which unclaimed property can be thrown away.
The ordinance would prohibit tents from being erected at the parks,
though umbrellas and sunshades would still be permitted. Barriers around personal property would also be banned, under the ordinance.
Any item that is a health or safety risk — such as something that could spread disease or contains vermin — would be discarded without giving notice. Items considered contraband or evidence of a crime could also be removed by the city without notice, under the proposed rules.
The ordinance would need approval from the full, 15-member City Council, and the mayor, before it can be enacted.
The proposed ordinance is based on a motion by Councilman Mike Bonin, which said that said some people have been known to bring “sofas, couches, armchairs, and mattresses, onto park property.” The items “contribute to visual blight and clutter while the park is
open” and “park-goers often cannot fully enjoy the beauty and recreational opportunities that the parks provide when bulky items mar views and take up valuable park space,” the motion says.
Though the motion does not specify who brings these items to parks, some residents have complained to Bonin’s office about homeless people being allowed to stay overnight at Venice Beach.
Some Venice residents are also suing the city, alleging city officials
have not done enough to curb safety and nuisance issues they say stem from people being allowed to camp overnight at the beach.
The city is also considering separate rules that apply to items left in
other public areas, such as sidewalks.