Changes To Restrict Homeless Peoples’ Activity In Kalamazoo Parks In The Works
Kalamazoo is considering changes to their city code that some are criticizing as insensitive to the homeless.
MLive reports that the Kalamazoo City Commission will be voting on the several changes to their park rules at their meeting Monday, some of which do actually reduce penalties for certain behaviors; for example, certain misdemeanors will be dropped down to civil infractions, making them no longer a criminal offence. However, other changes would restrict activity allowed in city parks, particularly Bronson Park.
The time period in which sleeping in the park is allowed would be reduced, and several new things will be outlawed, including bathing or washing items in water fountains, rivers, and lakes, and using sound amplifying equipment like bullhorns. The changes would also better define things like "camping" to make it easier to remove violators, and allow park and recreation employees to remove people from parks for up to a day.
Critics say that these changes are meant to target the homeless population in Bronson Park.
On the City’s Agenda, Kalamazoo says that they are actually meant to “address behaviors that impact the health, safety, and welfare of all persons accessing City Parks”.