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State reviews LA’s 30-year-old beach curfew

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POSTED October 1, 2017 6:24 p.m.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California regulators will consider relaxing a 30-year-old curfew at Los Angeles beaches after the city agreed to seek a permit to close its segments of the coastline after dark.

The city agreed to go before the California Coastal Commission to defend its midnight-to-5 a.m. closure of 11 miles of shoreline as part of a court settlement with Venice activists who sought to suspend curfew enforcement.

The curfew, which covers beaches, piers and seafront parks from Pacific Palisades to San Pedro, was adopted in 1988 to deter late-night crime. But it was adopted without the approval of the coastal commission.

In 2014, the commission asked Los Angeles officials to show “credible evidence” that the curfew was still necessary for public safety. The city, however, argued that the state commission had no jurisdiction.

In 2015, Venice activists sued the city in an effort to suspend enforcement of the curfew.

Under a settlement filed in court Thursday, the city agreed to seek a permit from the coastal commission and to have police issue warnings before citing curfew violators, many of whom are homeless people trying to sleep on the beach.

Commission staff members have indicated they were open to relaxing the curfew. “We start from the position of maximum public access to the coastline,” commission enforcement supervisor Andrew Willis said Friday.

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