Palisades News Letters: Beach Curfew Supported

Our public beaches are under assault.

Since 1989, when the City of Los Angeles instituted a curfew, Will Rogers State Beach, Venice Beach and three other beach/parks have closed each night from midnight to 5 a.m. Other city parks close at 10:30 p.m. The curfew is what keeps our beaches free from squatters and gang activity. The curfew is the main tool LAPD has to keep us safe.

Now our curfew is being challenged. Activists have sued L.A. City. They insist that the beaches should be open 24/7 all year round. The California Coastal Act of 1976 calls for “maximum access . . . for all the people.” Now a judge has ruled that the City must seek approval from the California Coastal Commission to maintain the curfew.

On October 5, I attended a hearing on the issue put on by the Department of Public Works, where dozens of people spoke. The majority supported the curfew.

However, a surprising number seemed to believe that any member of the public has the right to be on the beach at any hour, regardless of his or her safety. The effect of open beaches, of course, is what plagued our beach/parks before the curfew: tent cities, gang turf wars and filthy beaches.

Those opposing any curfew clearly believed that rich coastal property owners had made sure beach closing hours were instituted to keep poor people from other parts of the city from enjoying the beach. I worry that, from their state offices, the Coastal Commissioners will agree.

Even with the curfew in place and LAPD patrolling the beaches, alert citizens report that lately gangs have been tagging beach-access tunnels and doing drug deals on Will Rogers Beach.

I hope you will speak up in favor of the curfew.

The deadline for sending letters supporting the curfew to the L.A. Department of Public Works, Coastal Commission staff and the nine commissioners was October 11.

However, our District 11 Councilman Mike Bonin told us that the October 5 hearing was just the first step.

After the City Engineer issues a determination regarding the city’s application for a Coastal Development Permit, which would continue the curfew, the decision may be appealed to the Board of Public Works. Finally, it will be considered by the California Coastal Commission.

Councilman Bonin wrote, “There will be opportunity for additional public input at each step of the process.”

Please let the city know how important our local beaches and their health and safety are to all the public.

Nina Kidd

Palisades News welcomes all letters, which may be emailed to letters@palisadesnews.com. Please include a name, address and telephone number so we may reach you. Letters do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Palisades News.

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