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Proposal Rejected : City Hall Not the Place to Party, Simi Youths Told

July 22, 1987|RHONDA HUNTER | Times Staff Writer

Simi Valley City Council members Monday night rejected a proposal by more than 50 local youths to use the City Hall parking lot as a nightly gathering spot for teens and young adults.

The request came after 15 Simi Valley youths were arrested for unlawful possession of alcohol during public gatherings last weekend, said City Councilman Glen McAdoo. It also follows a July 4 riot at an area fast-food restaurant that led to minor injuries and one arrest.

"Everyone, including the cops, can't understand why we just want to get together and play our car stereos," said Eric Navarrete, 20, of Simi Valley. "The fact is we have nowhere to go, and meeting at parking lots is cheap and fun."

The teens have been looking for a new gathering place since local police told them to disband from the Burger King parking lot after the Independence Day ruckus.

'Public Property'

Navarrete said he and other youths suggested at Monday night's council meeting that City Hall might be used as a meeting place because "it's public property that we pay taxes on."

But McAdoo said teen gatherings at City Hall would generate too much noise for nearby residential areas and that the council needs to conduct its regular meetings inside without disruptions.

City Council members have appointed a youth activity subcommittee to investigate the issue and recommend a location where security guards might be able to enforce laws and keep the peace among youths gathering there, McAdoo said.

"We understand that the kids are looking for a place to meet so that they can show off their vehicles and play loud music," McAdoo said. "We want to give them what they want, but within the boundaries of the law and considering the good of the community."

McAdoo charged that the youths were breaking laws, including those forbidding minors to drink.

"As long as they continue to assemble in front of Burger King and other businesses where it is unlawful to do so, we will call the police to disband them," McAdoo said.

But Navarrete said the teen-agers in Simi Valley have not been deterred. "After we presented our idea to the City Council, which they didn't accept, we all met up at Burger King," he said.

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