Denver decides against Washington Park beer ban

washingtonparkagain550.JPG
Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown's newsletter will be a little late today. That's because when the Mayor's office learned that Brown was about to break the news that the city had decided against a temporary alcohol ban in Washington Park, located in Brown's district, the city moved up a planned press conference to announce the steps it's taking to deal with problems in the park to 2:30 p.m. today. But while the press conference is taking place a day early, the announcement is actually coming two weeks later than the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation had initially promised.

The call for a six-month prohibition was originally issued by Councilman Chris Nevitt, whose district includes neighborhoods west of the park. In an early April letter sent to Laurie Dannemiller, head of the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation, Nevitt asked for a temporary ban on 3.2 beer at Washington Park -- the only alcohol allowed in any of Denver parks -- because of "belligerent drunken behavior" both in the park and in nearby neighborhoods. Nevitt wrote:

nevittlitte.jpg
Chris Nevitt.
Over the last several years...acceptable inconvenience has metastasized into an almost constant barrage of unacceptable abuse. As you know, last summer, my office and yours fielded a constant stream of complaints: trash strewn across the park and in surrounding neighborhoods; overflowing portable toilets despite multiple additions of toilets by your office; belligerent drunken behavior in the park and in surrounding neighborhoods; loud and occasionally violent confrontations; public urination in the park and in surrounding neighborhoods; cars parked in front of driveways and blocking sidewalks and alleys; shouting matches in the street between nearby residents and park users parked, peeing, or littering illegally. Not only have these issues had profound impacts on the residents living adjacent to Washington Park, but they have also seriously eroded the vital family-friendly quality of one of our City's finest parks.
Opposition to the proposed ban sprang up immediately, and on April 9, Nevitt and Dannemiller addressed a meeting of residents and park users; Brown was also at that meeting, but did not speak. Both Nevitt and Dannemiller told the audience that they supported the ban; Dannemiller's office promised a decision the next week.

charliebrownthinking.png
Charlie Brown at a Denver City Council meeting.
In the meantime, Brown sent his own letter to the city, suggesting other ways that Washington Park could be cleaned up -- without banning beer. And at a less-publicized follow-up meeting the next week that Brown attended, the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation revealed the proposed beer ban was off the table and the city would instead make some changes to improve the situation in the park.

Brown notes in E-mail Express, his soon-to-be sent newsletter: "Many of the items on Councilman Brown's list were incorporated into the plan being implemented by Denver Parks and Recreation."

According to that plan, DPR will implement the following changes by Memorial Day weekend:

• Establish a drop-in permit system for volleyball and other multi-person organized activities on weekends and holidays.
• Increase the servicing of existing portable bathrooms and make plumbed bathrooms available for additional hours, including after-hours for Washington Park Recreation Center bathrooms.
• Direct park visitors to the availability of loading and unloading zones and free parking in the South High School parking lot.
• Place permanent and moveable signage around the park to remind park users and visitors that only 3.2 percent beer, and no liquor or glass, is allowed in the park.
• Increase right-of-way enforcement in the adjacent neighborhoods to ticket vehicles illegally parked in driveways or in handicapped spaces.
• With signage and volunteers in place, Denver Park Rangers will view rule violations, including alcohol violations, with less tolerance and issue more citations for violations.
• Increase Park Ranger patrol; deploy two full-time rangers in Washington Park on weekends.
• Deploy DPD Mounted Patrol on high-traffic weekend days and holidays; ramp up DPD general enforcement for the park area on all weekends and holidays.
• Reinforce DPR education and enforcement efforts with volunteer efforts from neighbors and patrons, through independent social media and "courtesy patrols" in the park and surrounding neighborhoods.
"Ongoing monitoring and periodic consultation with park neighbors and patrons will be used to assess the effectiveness of the changes and make any necessary adjustments or implement additional measures," the department notes.

Continue to read Councilman Charlie Brown's original proposal to Denver Parks and Recreation.


My Voice Nation Help
84 comments
Scott Sloan
Scott Sloan

Yes they did do the right thing. Banning beer from a park is as unamerican as prohibition. Let's let folks have fun, and if it offends you, just remember how much better you are than those lousy drunks, then lower your eyes and keep moving. Our parks are big enough that there is enough space for those seeking fun and for those who aren't.

Aaron Harmon
Aaron Harmon

Who in the hell goes to the park, anyways?

Randy Montano
Randy Montano

I'm sick and tired of all the transplants and uppity types calling all the shots! Hell noooooooo! Thanks parks and rec we all own the parks! Go back to the state or wherever else you loved if you don't like it!

Damon Medina
Damon Medina

Not mention people trashing the park with beer cans. People are irresponsible and rude when it comes to alcohol and tobacco.

Nancy Honea
Nancy Honea

Very!!! Why is the controlled substance that causes people to fight and harm themselves and others allowed???? Stupid....

Ryan Darling
Ryan Darling

Our tax dollars were frivolously spent so they could yammer on about this non-issue that should've never been initiated in the first place... Fundies and Prohibitionists need to apply logic before the spend our money.

Bob_Smith
Bob_Smith

What an idea - have DPR clean up the mess DPR made, instead of punishing citizens. This may be a first for the Hancock administration.

This wouldn't happen if the managers at P&R didn't regard people as a problem, something to be managed, as cheaply as possible. As a DPR retiree I'm sad to see how property and projects have become more important than people, and service.

Jennifer Anne
Jennifer Anne

Emily Custred Courtney Lambert Danielle Thielen

Jeff Williams
Jeff Williams

no but they do need to stop law makers from drinking during sessions. to the point if they can't they are impeached.

Hemp Hurd
Hemp Hurd

if you're going to spread lies about something you know nothing about...leave out the part about what others should do...gives you more credibility...{:}(

Hemp Hurd
Hemp Hurd

moron...i'll call it bookey butt flavored shizzlestopper if I want...{:}(

Hemp Hurd
Hemp Hurd

it's too damned early to start an argument with a moron...but...I raised two kids around both...I never "Fogged" them out...but they were around it all their juvenile lives...they are just fine thnx...and if I want to call it bookey butt flavored shizzlestopper...that

Mic Lipp
Mic Lipp

Rashonda, i did not go to civic center park and i do not have a kid!

ElizabethM
ElizabethM

No one is "invading" their neighborhood, as Councilman Brown states in his letter. The park is public property that ALL of our tax dollars support. Even these lesser measures are a slap in the face to those of us that pay taxes and want to enjoy the park with an adult beverage or two in a responsible way.

RaShonda King
RaShonda King

Oh Mic Lipp, really?!? Weed sounds 'ghetto' grow up. Call it what you want, but you really just sound dumb when you say things like that. More importantly if you took your kid down to the 420 rally you're an idiot. That is not a kid friendly kind of day for little ones. I'm not condoning smoking around kids, but lets be real sometimes kids have to sit somethings out and that's one of the things kids shouldn't be around. I'm going to go smoke some weed and rap to some ghetto music now! GET REAL!

Carrina Fine
Carrina Fine

Adam Fine Courtney Smith We're gonna have to kick it next time I'm down there.

Jessica Powers
Jessica Powers

Ok. With that mentality, you shouldn't drive your car around the park, because exhaust travels. I will stop commenting only because I have made my point. I am only trying to open minds. Thanks for the debate!

Mic Lipp
Mic Lipp

Rian, second hand smoke of any kind, NOT COOL! Bottom line.

Mic Lipp
Mic Lipp

Yeah, tobacco, same as pot... keep that shit out of the park... second hand smoke travels, beer travels from the can/bottle to my mouth... ugh, jessica, please stop wasting my time

Adam Huscher
Adam Huscher

We can have a beer there y can't we smoke if there really regulating it like drinking then let's do it

Rian Milehigh
Rian Milehigh

So what. Kids aren't going to get high from second had smoke, unless they are chiefing in a closed environment like a car, even then they'd have to hot box a car on a regular basis to have any harmful effects happen to the lungs. Its a park, open area. If your dogs such a wienie maybe he should not go out in public. We voted it legal and should be allowed to smoke in parks and in public. Hemp Hurd

Jessica Powers
Jessica Powers

I'm sorry but if people are at the park blowing smoke in your children's face then they need to go to jail. That is not what I hope will be legalized. I'm sorry to hear about your mom, but these children are not going to get stoned from it, or else living in Denver would get them stoned.

Dan Scott
Dan Scott

I guess people can go back to not being able to control themselves enough to go without a drink for a few hours.

Jessica Powers
Jessica Powers

Yes it is. Your argument is so invalid. I support recreational and medicinal cannabis and I am also for personal liberties. I don't understand why it is so controversial to you. This world will never be free of things children "shouldn't be exposed to" and if you think it will be, I think you are a little bit too naive for children. Quit supporting all of these dumb regulations because you are so paranoid. I think drinking alcohol and glamourizing it is harmful to children in the long term, but I don't think we should make it illegal just because some think it may hurt a few..that's just selfish. If you aren't a responsible enough parent to keep your children from potential dangers (in your mind) and teach them right from wrong, then they are already doomed shy of inhaling diluted pot air in the park.

Bob Dobbs
Bob Dobbs

Alcohol is the most destructive drug available.

Mic Lipp
Mic Lipp

yes, exactly, be responsible, enjoy the fact that we ARE allowed to smoke pot!!! don't force people who don't enjoy that fact to breath in second hand smoke... just like cigarettes... I run around Cheesman daily, when people smoke cigs on the path, I often tell them it makes it very difficult for the runners to have to run through that cancer causing garbage

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...