Reporting Ed Mertz
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Spurts of green grass are already returning the lawn outside City Hall, but inside officials want to make sure they avoid a repeat of damage done by protesters last fall.
KNX 1070′s Ed Mertz reports a City Council parks committee has moved to prohibit pitching tents and overnight camping in city parks.
The Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee passed the measure more than six months after a preliminary report estimated costs incurred during the nearly two-month Occupy LA movement topped $2.3 million.
And while the sod has begun turning green on the south lawn of City Hall as side bags of compost material wait to be scattered on the north end, Councilman Richard Alarcon said council members want to make sure the restoration effort is not in vain.
The measure “merely clarifies what camping is to include tents,” said Alarcon.
In addition to fencing off the area immediately surrounding City Hall leading to Civic Center Park, the protests also damaged the park’s sprinkler system and left lawmakers scrambling to close any potential loopholes that would allow similar damage in the future.
But Alarcon denied the measure specifically targeted the Occupy movement.
“I don’t think this ordinance does anything to stop people from their civil rights,” said Alarcon. “They still have the right to sleep on sidewalks.”
A vote on the ordinance is expected next week.