The new that amends Los Angeles Municipal Code 42.15 to regulate vending and performances on the Venice Beach boardwalk went into effect Friday as some of its nuances continue to unfold.
Lt. Paola Kreefft of the Los Angeles Police Department told the Venice Neighborhood Council on Tuesday that officers will start enforcing a previous city regulation that prohibits any person from being at Venice Beach Park, including Ocean Front Walk, between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. The enforcement of the park's hours became part of the plan to enforce the new vending rules, which prohibits overnight camping for vending spots.
"That obviously means that the park is closed to everyone, you can't sleep in the park overnight, you can't enter the park overnight, you can't linger and you can't loiter," she said. "It's going to be applied universally, not just to people who like to stay overnight in the park, but people who live in the area won't be able to walk on Ocean Front Walk after midnight."
The police department understands that there are homes and businesses along Ocean Front Walk and people will be allowed to walk to their homes and from a business to a parking lot.
"But if anyone wants to take a midnight stroll through the park, that's not going to be allowed," Kreefft said.
The VNC board has been supportive of the Ocean Front Walk ordinance, said VNC President Linda Lucks to Kreefft, but the part about the park closure was new information and not brought before the board.
VNC member Ivonne Guzman said she felt the overnight park closure was "taking a lot of our freedom away" and noted that she sometimes enjoys a midnight bike ride.
VNC community officer Cindy Chambers said the closure of the park goes against the California Coastal Commission findings and said the park and its boardwalk should remain open to the public.
The VNC's Neighborhood Committee on Monday will hear from representatives from Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl's office and residents on the newly posted rules at the Oakwood Park Recreation Center.
Meanwhile, the City of Los Angeles has recently decided to allow henna skin art on the west side of the boardwalk, whereas previously it had been banned.
Managing Assistant City Attorney Valerie Flores said that due to public confusion over a recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' case, the City of Los Angeles has decided to allow henna applications on the boardwalk.
Henna artists will have to provide all applicable licenses to practice and must prove they are using non-toxic materials, Flores said.
The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks may in the future adopt regulations to ensure compliance with these rules, Flores said.
The City Attorney's Office said the LAPD will begin enforcing L.A.M.C. 42.15 this weekend, as they finalize posting signage and making documents available to the public.
The new ordinance, which was approved Dec. 13 by the Los Angeles City Council, revises and defines the exact items that will be prohibited and allowed to be sold on 205 spaces on the western side of the boardwalk.
The ordinance would ban the sale of common items with a "non-expressive purpose," such as clothes, sunglasses, incense, candy, crystals, oils, jewelry and toys.
Vendors will still be able to sell books, paintings, recordings, sculptures or other works they have created.
The new ordinance also puts in place noise restrictions for performers and prohibits any vending from sunset to 9 a.m. and overnight camping for vending spots.