Washington Park's new volleyball rules being relaxed after complaints

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Photo courtesy of Fox31
Last week, we told you about new rules for Washington Park set to go into effect on Memorial Day weekend -- an apparent response to Denver City Councilman Chris Nevitt's unsuccessful effort to ban alcohol at the park due to what he described as "belligerent, drunken behavior."

Mere days later, the regs regarding volleyball in the park are already being relaxed thanks to some serious push-back from players.

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The Denver Parks and Recreation website features a section about "a new [volleyball] permitting process that will begin Memorial Day weekend and will continue every weekends through Labor Day weekend." The goal is to "better handle the number of organized activities occurring in a single area, specifically within the meadow at Washington Park."

The listed rules include the following:

• The new volleyball drop-in permit system will require obtaining a free 3-or 6-hour permit, with a refundable deposit of $30 or $60, respectively.

• Fees will only be incurred if permitted time is exceeded by permit holder.

• Debit or credit card is required to secure a permit.

• Permit Station will be located east of the meadow.

• Permit times are 10:00 a.m. -- 7:00 p.m.

We've included a copy of the permit below, which outlines fines for infractions: $100 for a first offense, $250 for the second and $500 for the third.

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The rules frosted one Westword reader, who sent us the following e-mail a few days prior to the holiday weekend under the subject line "When did volleyball players become villains?" It reads:
Here I thought the Denverites that spent hours in the park playing volleyball were living the healthy lifestyle the state boasts. So why are they being unfairly targeted by our city's leadership?

On Denver Mayor Hancock's website he boasts that "a city is built of great neighborhoods." Wash Park is one of those neighborhoods. With hundreds of people flocking to the park everyday, these park visitors also support surrounding businesses and makes the neighborhood a top choice to live (with median house prices of $600,000 to prove it).

We don't need fees and restrictions on how long we can play volleyball on a Saturday. What is needed is the people out of control to be regulated without putting the blame on everyone with a net. What is needed is more bathrooms, instead of the few bathrooms that are available being regularly closed. What is needed more trash cans available to dispose of our empty 3.2% beer cans.

What is next -- paying a deposit to use the tennis courts? Or to walk your dog? For those of us who play responsibly and are enjoying the public spaces that are afforded to us as citizens of Denver these regulations are not only ridiculously unnecessary, they are unfair. When did volleyball players become the villains?

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Evan Constan in a Fox31 interview.
Evan Constan has similar gripes. Last weekend, as he told Fox31, he was cited for playing volleyball without the proper permit -- and he's not the only one. The outlet reports that six volleyball-related citations were handed out.

Now, however, the city's Jeff Green tells the station that volleyball players will be allowed to set up anywhere in the park outside a so-called "passive area" designated for families with kids, up to a limit of fifty nets. Moreover, there's no longer a charge and neither will a time limit be imposed -- but a permit will still be required.

Will these alterations satisfy park users? We've got a whole summer to find out. Here's a copy of the online Washington Park volleyball permit.

Washington Park Drop in Permit Application

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Follow That Story archive circa May 20: "What you can and can't do in Washington Park starting Memorial Day weekend."

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44 comments
mommietofive
mommietofive

This is a ridiculous new rule.  The volleyball players at Wash park have the same rights to use the park as any of the runners, tennis players or families.  To make them wade through government bureaucracy to enjoy wash park like the rest, is ridiculous.  I would love to get a list of all of the wonderful government officials who supported this.  That way when it's time to vote we can get rid of all of them.  Starting with Hickenlooper.  This is kind of like the whole Hampden Heights fiasco that Mayor Hancock pushed through.  Giving away public protected areas where people loved to walk and bike to a school to get something in return.  We need to protect our rights people and quit sitting around letting the government take them.  The more we give up and accept, the more they will take.  Now it's regulating volleyball players, next it will be runners, bikers and yes you tennis players.


First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me....Niemoller

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

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        *** Regulation Works! ***


.

Heidi Medina
Heidi Medina

And we wonder why Denver is dropping down the list of being one of the healthiest cities! We pay tax money to keep parks open and free for people to use to exercise and play sports like volleyball. Now instead of being able to show up on the spur of the moment cause it's a good time to play, you have to get a permit to enjoy the park. It's really sad.

dan051
dan051

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb...that is all I have to say.

brent.logero
brent.logero

Hey I used to play at Wash for years before i was over it. But if it was me, i would organize all peeps to go to a different park and abandon Wash. I mean what makes Wash more special then any other park in the central metro area.

Go to City Park. Its huge!!!! Plus the dozens of other parks.

omnidynmc
omnidynmc

Join the fight and sign the petition to end this senseless regulation: www.freewashpark.org

Melissa Miedecke
Melissa Miedecke

I wish I could Justina, but Saturday is my day off this week.

Eevil
Eevil

The problems of rich white people. Great to see this paragon of journalistic excellence knocking it out of the park in the 'Trivial Bullshit' department. What a fucking waste of type.

Daniel J. King IV
Daniel J. King IV

Briana, you're dealing with the trash of Dumbocraps, who are by nature messed up. Just look at how clean Glenn Beck's Washington Mall gathering in 2010 was vs. all the trash at areas where Libs overrun the grounds like Washington Park !!!

contrary55
contrary55

The park was getting to the point that there were barely any spots available for anything else at certain hours of the day. On weekday mornings it is still relatively empty except for walkers and runners and children in the playgrounds.   These are not just people who brought their own volleyball net and set it up.  There are van loads of nets being brought in by people who I suspect are charging people to play or rent the nets.  The other problems I never noticed because I live a few blocks away.  The privilege is being abused by entrepreneurs using a public facility to make money and needed to be reined in at least a little bit.  

Daryl Parisi
Daryl Parisi

We all need to shut up and get in line. The wealthy homeowners of wash Park have spoken!

Justin Stoner
Justin Stoner

it think every one follows the rule except the government..and thanks for the sound advise fuck face....!

Justin Stoner
Justin Stoner

you must be a government employee ..and i think these fucks paid a 75% tax on the alcohol and they pay taxes..so yet another delusional fuck-tard ..that is just a piece of shit...Christian that is you motherfucker...

Justin Stoner
Justin Stoner

yet more bull shit spewing from the government....why don't the city build up to date bathroom facilities and make it more friendly to the public..instead it wants to be communistic and make laws and fee's and fines and charges...when its their fault for not accommodating the tax payers...now they will try to up the taxes in the area to blow smoke up your ass to do the right thing...remember the government hates you....!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

What qualifications, if any, does Nevitt have to be City Auditor?  If he runs unopposed, it won't matter.

animegirlkitten
animegirlkitten

This is just another ploy for the city to try to make money.  whats next charging people to walk or run at wash park? seriously Denver way to suck the fun out of going to a public park to play volleyball and have picnics.

Briana Wilson Ballinger
Briana Wilson Ballinger

If only people had decency and respect for the environment around them. I have seen so much trash, beer cans and even bottles (which you aren't supposed to have) all over. It is unfortunate that a few lazy, drunken fools will ruin it for everyone else. There is a serious lack of respect out there. I do, however, dislike the permit rule. Just clean up after yourselves!!

Phil 'Thrill' Milleville
Phil 'Thrill' Milleville

if the regulations are too tough then boycott playing volleyball to send a message to the city saying fuck you bitch

Keith A. Badje
Keith A. Badje

What an absurd rule. A permit? To play a sport? At a park? Get bent, Denver.

Benjamin Bradburn
Benjamin Bradburn

This is absurd. Rangers/police are too scared to deal with the few people that are causing the problem, so everybody has to suffer. Out local government is pathetic.

Christian Collins
Christian Collins

That email sounds rediculously mellow dramatic. Healthy? No. Ur beer cans and puke says otherwise. Also yes u dumbass u have to pay for the activities in this world you entitled fucks.

Matthew Nelson
Matthew Nelson

Ever heard of a pickup game? How in the hell is this supposed to foster a community of it makes pick up games ILLEGAL

Lyndsey Geiger
Lyndsey Geiger

What's next City of Denver, as if the 6 million you've made off pot taxes isn't enough...Are they going to eliminate Jazz in the Park too??

Charlie Whiskey
Charlie Whiskey

What about my complaints about all the midwesterners?

Fitz Greg
Fitz Greg

that was about the dumbest park rule i have ever heard

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... too many people, not enough park.

BassToMouth
BassToMouth

@brent.logero Agreed that CP is a great park, but the problem with everyone just going there is that the regulations would inevitably follow. We need to fight to end these ridiculous regulations all together and focus on enforcing current rules and cracking down on the select few jackasses that have caused the issues to begin with. The actions of a few should not necessitate restrictions for all.  

BassToMouth
BassToMouth

@Eevil How ironic that this article is a "waste of type", yet you felt the need to waste your type on a topic/community in which you have no involvement. This clearly doesn't affect you, but it affects those of us that play volleyball at Wash Park. The world doesn't revolve around you and your opinions. Grow up.

BassToMouth
BassToMouth

Ah, nothing quite like name calling and a sweeping generalization to really demonstrate your intelligence. The completely irrelevant reference to a 4 year old political gathering in another state was the real icing on the cake. I don't even begin to see what a Glen Beck political gathering has to do with playing volleyball at Denver's Washington Park. Maybe you should re-read the article because you missed the point. Badly. 

omnidynmc
omnidynmc

@contrary55 Since I play every weekend I can tell you this is flat out not correct. Players aren't setting up nets and making people play. The park is first come first serve, it is just as easy for anyone else to find a spot they want to use in the morning like everyone else who comes to the park.


With the exception of holidays, it is not that difficult to find a spot in the park and it is expected that holidays would be popular. Patrons will often see volleyball in harmony with picnics, family soccer, corn hole, ladders etc.

BassToMouth
BassToMouth

@contrary55 It's a public park. It's a first come first serve basis. If you want to get there early, reserve a spot for your family/picnic or whatever you want, you are able to do that. You can also call ahead to reserve spots at picnic tables/grills. The vans you see are part of a league(Volleyball of the Rockies) that plays only during the week and yes, they charge a fee, part of which goes to Denver Parks and Rec. Those leagues do not operate at Wash Park on weekends and quite frankly, those leagues generate a lot of money for the Denver Parks. Hope this helps.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

When pickup games are outlawed, only outlaws will play pickup games.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... they'll replace it with Dope in the Park ... and make even more pot tax $$ !!


Smoke your Taxed Dope, Help Denver Grow!



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@BassToMouth "Agreed that CP is a great park, but the problem with everyone just going there is that the regulations would inevitably follow."


City Park is 160 acres LARGER than Wash Park.


And you could hire local gang-bangers to "crack down" on those jackasses you don't like.




DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@BassToMouth "It's a public park. It's a first come first serve basis. If you want to get there early, reserve a spot for your family/picnic or whatever you want, you are able to do that."


So if a gang of neck and face tattooed hispanic thugs got there early, every weekend, and roped off and claimed the entire field area, and then charged you admission to access what they already claimed -- or simply denied you access to it -- using it as one big Barrio Barbecue for themselves, you'd be ok with that under the "first come, first serve" doctrine, eh cracker?

contrary55
contrary55

@BassToMouth @contrary55 Thanks, I really didn't know who those people were and it has been on weekday evenings that I notice this going on.  I don't often go near the park on weekends .

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

This is your brain on volleyball.

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