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Local News in Brief : Curbs on Homeless in 2 Parks Approved

The West Hollywood City Council has approved park regulations to restrict the activities of homeless people in two city parks.

In a unanimous vote, the five-member council outlawed such things as erecting tents, hanging clothes and blankets on walls and shrubs, and using drinking fountains for “other than (their) intended purpose.” The law authorizes city officials and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies to expel violators from the parks.

The council decided in June to close the two parks--where about 150 homeless people were living--from midnight to 6 a.m. But the council won praise from the homeless community when it decided to open the city auditorium as a nightly emergency shelter until a city-backed $1.2-million comprehensive center for the homeless is ready to open next year.

Some residents and merchants near the parks have complained, however, about a continuing proliferation of shopping carts, encampments in grassy areas, the hanging of clothes, kindling of fires and the use of the park’s drinking fountains for bathing and washing dishes.

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City Councilman John Heilman said the new law is needed “to establish certain minimal standards for all park users.”


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