8/24/2014 KIAA Hidden Beach “Final” Resolution
Whereas the Kenwood Isles Area Association (KIAA) and Kenwood and Cedar Lake neighbors deeply appreciate Cedar Lake Park and East Cedar Lake Beach (a/k/a “Hidden Beach”), and recognize that the great majority of both neighbors and others who use the beach are good citizens looking to swim, relax, and play at an easily accessible beach with a comfortable atmosphere; and
Whereas neighbors have observed an increased use of East Cedar Lake Beach this year and a concurrent increase in disruptive and/or criminal behavior, a sizable portion of which has not been documented by police or reported by citizens, which was demonstrated at the public meeting on August 18, with reports of incidents that had not reported to the police; and
Whereas this behavior includes such things as home invasions, car theft, street brawls, drunken and intoxicated driving, theft of property, driving cars into residential yards, criminal intent to crash into parked vehicles, urinating on lawns, spitting on wedding guests, breaking car windows, etc.; and
Whereas the July KIAA meeting was devoted to discussing the impacts to the neighborhood of these behaviors with neighbors, representatives of the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, the Park Police, and the Minneapolis Police Department; and
Whereas a joint neighborhood-MPRB task force was established after the July KIAA meeting, which will work to develop long-term solutions to neighborhood problems caused by disrespectful and/or criminal East Cedar Lake Beach users; and
Whereas that KIAA held a special public meeting on August 18, 2014 focusing on the need for short-term “fixes” to the serious nature of civil and criminal ongoing at present, which brought out the reports of outrageous and/or criminal activity centered on East Cedar Lake Beach and adjacent areas; and
Whereas KIAA appreciates the efforts of the Park Police and MPD which has thus far prevented serious injury to people, and believes that East Cedar Lake Beachhas necessitated an inordinate amount of police time which should eventually be freed to address serious crime throughout the city; and
Whereas KIAA and its directors have been contacted numerous times by concerned residents who have asked that the beach be temporarily closed or its hours be restricted because of some of the most egregious incidents that have occurred in recent weeks; and
Whereas these neighbors and others have asked that KIAA help to find a creative solution that allows all users to enjoy the beach and our neighborhood safely; and
Whereas Minneapolis City Councilmember Lisa Goodman, MPD, Park Commissioner Anita Tabb and Park Police have all brought up the ideas of closing the beach temporarily or restricting the time East Cedar Lake Beach and surrounding areas are open to the public; and
Whereas KIAA took an informal poll at its August 18 public meeting, and sought further emailed expression of citizens’ view of three possibilities:
- close East Cedar Lake Beach (will not be open at all, not even to neighbors) with active police enforcement, or
- close East Cedar Lake Beach at 6 pm instead of 10 pm with active police enforcement, or
- request more/better police patrols with no change of Beach hours.
Whereas, numerous citizens (more than 120) expressed their views via email in the last few days following the KIAA meeting of Monday, Aug. 18 and over 80% favored some closing of East Cedar Lake Beach, and a slight majority favored total closing; and
Whereas, the KIAA Board met on Thursday afternoon, August 21 to review all the information
Therefore, be it resolved that KIAA concludes that emergency measures must be applied this Summer and Fall, and KIAA endorses and requests the following compromise solution based on the information available and the expressions of concern by citizens who attended the public meeting held by KIAA on August 18 and also those who expressed their concern and preferences via email since August 19:
- KIAA urgently requests that the Minneapolis Park Board and/or the Minneapolis City Council make an immediate but temporary change in the ordinances or regulations such that East Cedar Lake Beach and adjacent vicinity will be closed (i.e., not be available for the public to visit) at 4:00 pm rather than 10 pm starting now through October 31, 2014.This will permit use of the area during mornings and afternoons, but will also permit police to tag/ticket people in the Cedar Beach East area to prevent the grave civil and criminal misconduct that has been occurring in the late afternoons and evenings this year.
- KIAA and neighbors will support the added police attention to the East Cedar Lake Beach area by offering up to $5,000 to pay for additional police patrols and hiring off-duty police officers or security officers to insure that there will be active enforcement of the restrictions to East Cedar Lake Beach and vicinity after Park closing hour of 4:00 pm. If the issues that have prompted this temporary closure are not eliminated by October 31, 2014, KIAA may request an extension of this action. If a long-term plan is not in place by April 30, 2015, KIAA may request that the East Cedar Lake Beach be temporarily re-closed until such a long-term plan is in place.
- KIAA will assist and support certain streets that wish to implement temporary parking restrictions that will restrict non-residents from parking on public streets during specific hours to partly coincide with beach closure times.
- KIAA requests MPRB staff to engage with beach users to encourage respectful use of park property and neighborhood streets and become involved in the process to find a long term solution to the issues currently affecting the neighborhood.
PASSED by the Board on August 24, 2014.
___________________________Board Chair Larry Moran