FILLMORE : Permits Needed for Drinking of Alcohol at Park

After repeated complaints about alcohol-related disturbances in Shiells Park, the city of Fillmore will require adult users to obtain alcohol consumption permits.

The Fillmore City Council adopted an "urgency ordinance" during Tuesday's meeting, amending rules that now allow alcoholic beverages to be consumed in designated picnic areas in the park.

Shiells Park is one of the few parks in Ventura County that has allowed alcohol consumption, according to a report by City Manager Roy Payne.

"People are taking it upon themselves to expand the boundaries beyond the picnic area shelters to include the whole backside of the park," said Tom Ristau, grants coordinator for the city manager's office.

The park's sheltered picnic areas are often rented during the weekends for birthday parties and family gatherings, officials said.

"(The drunkenness) has disrupted the renters of the picnic shelters," Ristau said. "They are upset with all the profanity and other disturbances like urinating in the park. Some have requested rental fee repayment because they had to leave."

City officials said the majority of the problems have occurred during adult soccer league games held on weekends at the park located on C Street and Old Telegraph Road.

Starting Jan. 13, all alcohol consumption will be prohibited in Shiells Park, unless a special permit is obtained through the parks and recreation department. Fees for the permit have not yet been determined, officials said.

"The intent is to keep the park and the picnic areas safe and enjoyable for everyone," Ristau said.

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