Residents rally behind petition for curfew in Pacific Beach parks
As a result of illegal activity occurring in local parks at night, a petition to implement evening curfews at the following parks has gained traction after being initiated by the Pacific Beach Town Council in June:
• Fanuel Street Park, 4000 Fanuel St. from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
• PB Library Park, 4275 Cass St. from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
• PB Community Park (PB Rec Center), 1405 Diamond St. from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The petition has received more than 500 paper signatures and has been circulated by Neighborhood Watch groups, according to Town Council president Brian White.
“You know what they say: ‘Nothing good happens in the park after dark,’ ” White told PB Monthly. “And that’s definitely true at (those parks).” He added Fanuel Park has been dubbed “Felony Park” by the locals.
White explained the Town Council chose these three parks due to complaints about illegal activities there, including stolen bikes being disassembled, drug dealing, drug use and needles being left behind.
Since the different parks within PB fall under various advisory groups’ jurisdictions, White said approving and implementing curfews will be a process. “So it’s kind of complex, really; it’s definitely a marathon,” he said. “We’re in the middle of it right now.”
The Library Park doesn’t fall under the Parks & Recreation Department, so implementing a curfew there requires approval from the Board of Library Commissioners, before going to the City Council.
A curfew for PB Community Park was approved by the PB Recreation Advisory Group on Oct. 15, and after discussion, the group decided the curfew would also apply to the McEvoy Youth Fields, if passed by City Council.
The next step is for the curfew petition for PB Community Park and Fanuel Street Park to go before the citywide Parks & Recreation Board. If the petition gains approval, it will go straight to the City Council for its vote.
White said, hopefully, the PB Library Park would be included with the other two parks at that point (if approved by the Board of Library Commissioners) and follow the other parks as a package for City Council’s consideration.
“The curfew’s not going to be an end-all/be-all thing,” he cautioned. “It’s not some kind of magic force field that will come down on the parks at certain hours, it’s just an added tool for enforcement for police.”
Along with PB, White said neighborhoods around Mid-City and City Heights have also been trying or have been successful at implementing evening park curfews.
White estimated it could take up to three or four months for City Council approval, but as the petition needs to be OK’d at each step along the way, it could take longer or ultimately not be approved.
— PB Town Council can be reached at (858) 483-6666 and firstname.lastname@example.org