Please place an item on the agenda to discuss and potentially take action regarding amending the closing hours for Soundscape Park and Pride Park.
Although the City Code sets forth “default” park closing hours of Midnight – 5am for all public parks throughout the City that are not gated or fenced in, Soundscape Park signage indicates that Soundscape Park is currently closed from 2 a.m. until sunrise. Pride Park, just a few blocks away, is currently closed from midnight to sunrise. In all cases, the City Code provides that no person may remain in any public park after the park closing hours, except that persons are permitted to pass through without stopping, on the most direct way leading to their point of destination.
The City Code also provides the City Manager with the authority to establish exceptions to the “default” closing hours of Midnight – 5am when the City Manager finds that doing so is in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare (and such exceptions are posted with signage on the property).
On several occasions in the last year, I have expressed concerns that, as we improve our parks and implement the G.O. Bond program, our parks and open spaces may present special public safety risks to the general public after hours. In addition, we face unique challenges with homeless persons who may congregate after hours in the area, particularly persons that decline our homeless outreach team’s offer of services and assistance.
As part of this item, I would like for the Administration to provide the City Commission with feedback and input regarding proposed earlier closing time for Soundscape Park and Pride Park.