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Westside Digest

West Hollywood : Park Closing Times Approved

June 09, 1988

Under mounting pressure from homeowners near Plummer Park who have complained about transients, drug use and motorcycle gangs in their neighborhood, the City Council has voted to close all city parks between midnight and 6 a.m.

After a procession of residents testified about finding syringes in their yards and in park sandboxes, the City Council on Monday approved the park closing time as an emergency measure. But it also voted to create a temporary homeless shelter at West Hollywood Park for drug- and alcohol-free transients who live in the parks and are displaced by the closures.

"Plummer Park has been taken over by a criminal element. This isn't a homeless problem anymore, and I'm sorry the two have gotten confused," said Councilman John Heilman.

The new homeless program will allow up to 50 people to sleep in the West Hollywood Park community hall from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. The program also will open pool showers to the homeless between 6 and 7:30 a.m. daily.

The Sheriff's Department has been instructed to begin enforcing the park closure as soon as the shelter facility has been set up, which city employees believe can be accomplished within two weeks. The city has been trying to establish a permanent shelter for the homeless. The status of the permanent shelter was not discussed at Monday's meeting.

The cost to the city to provide shelter, food and security for the homeless was estimated at $88,000 annually.

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