It’s a question heard often around Los Angeles: should people be allowed access to public beaches 24 hours a day?
In a settlement filed last week, the city of Los Angeles agreed to defend its midnight to 5 a.m. beach curfew, which has been in effect since 1988 for public safety and in the hopes of deterring crime. The first hearing in the process is on Thursday, where members of the public, government agencies and others are being invited to a public hearing with the city engineer and Public Works to weigh in on whether the curfew should be relaxed or continue to be enforced.
The city and the California Coastal Commission have sparred for years over who has ultimate jurisdiction over the 11 miles of coastline in the city, which include Will Rogers State Beach, Dockweiler Beach, and Venice Beach. Activists in Venice even sued the the city of Los Angeles over the curfew in 2015, arguing a right to public commons has existed since as far back as ancient Rome.
AirTalk reached out to the L.A. City Attorney’s Office for comment, but they said they could not comment on pending litigation.
Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders’ Association, an organization dedicated to civic improvement in Venice Beach
Sara Wan, former commissioner on the California Coastal Commission and co-founder of the Western Alliance for Nature, a conservancy group