Las Animas Veterans Park is one of many public parks in the City of Gilroy.
music in the park san jose

City Council will be considering during its upcoming regular meeting Monday an amendment to Gilroy City Code that could limit the consumption of alcohol in public parks to a reservation and permit-only basis.
This would be the first step in a 15-step approach approved by City Council in July to “reduce the issues related to homelessness and quality of life concerns within the City,” according to Gilroy Police Chief Denise Turner.
“This proposal is based upon the complaints from the community, calls for service and the frequency of transients drinking in the City’s parks,” Turner said. “The suggested change to the Gilroy City Code would continue to allow beer and wine in the park designated areas with an added condition that use of those areas would require a reservation of the designated park site area.”
Under the proposal, a group wanting to drink alcohol in one of the public parks’ picnic areas would need to obtain a permit for alcohol consumption when making a paid picnic site reservation. Turner explained this change to existing code would help reduce the impacts of transients drinking in parks; stop disruption of other park users’ activities; and provide the basis for one-day enforcement of no alcohol consumption regulation.
“No alcohol would be permitted in those areas without an alcohol permit and paid reservation,” Turner explained.
In July, City Council received a report about the impacts of homelessness in Gilroy. After hearing the report, which included recommended short-term and long-term action, Council endorsed 15 strategies moving forward. Revising City code to only allow alcohol consumption in public parks on a permitted basis with a paid reservation was the first strategy identified by Council.
The proposed modification to City code section 18.6 (b) as presented by Turner is as follows, with the changes italicized: “Notwithstanding the above, beer and wine may be consumed at the Oaks and Lakeside picnic areas in Las Animas Park and at the East and West Mulberry, Walnut and Sycamore picnic areas in Christmas Hill Park with a valid City of Gilroy reservation and alcohol consumption permit reserving one of these areas.”
According to Turner, the recommended action will not impose an additional impact on the budget for fiscal year 2014. Council is expected to vote Monday night to recommend City staff to prepare an ordinance amending City code to include those changes.
“The proposed language will achieve the goal of ensuring that picnic areas are not used for indiscriminate alcohol consumption and will provide the basis for uniform enforcement,” Turner noted.
The Gilroy City Council is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Nov. 4 in council chambers at City Hall.

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