Muscle Beach Weight Pen Encampment Cleared

After 10 months, the encampment inside the fences that close off the empty for two years Muscle Beach Weight Pen, has been cleared!

At 7:45 this morning, 02/17/21,  L.A. Park Rangers, accompanied by a bull dozer and dump truck, showed up on Oceanfront Walk and evicted the two unhoused residents from their nearly year long digs.  The team also cleared the west wall of the handball courts.  Other encampments remain in the area inside handball courts (handsomely equipped with a full gym and art gallery), behind the paddle tennis courts, and on the west side of the basketball courts.

We asked the Rangers about the specifics:  They  were able to clear the west wall of handball because it is a fire lane, and  the Weight Pen on grounds of trespassing. They had no info. on what was going on with the other encampments in regards to being cleared. They also had no info on who green lighted the clean up for today after it was given a pass since March 2020

In is worth noting that later in the morning there was a heavy Police presence inside the handball courts, talking with the residents and appearing to be taking an inventory.

We caught up with an area resident, who asked not to be named, and asked them what they thought about the condition of the park, they said:

“It is about [email protected]#$ing time, and the fact that this has been allowed to go on, for grown men to live rent free on the beach, while law abiding citizens are forced to stay inside, abide by absurd and arbitrary mandates, while their businesses go bankrupt, is reflective of the massive fail and skewed priorities of those in charge from L.A. to Sacramento.  Truly disgraceful!”

Another resident had this to say:

“Clearly people cannot be allowed to live in the park.  However, the guy  who lived by the weight pit was actually quite a good neighbor in comparison with most of the new arrivals. He had been there for years living under the bleachers, he just did not have the giant camp that got removed today.  He was polite, non threatening, and quiet.  The new crop is violent, disrespectful, and filthy. It is a tragedy what is going on here.”  

For readers that don’t know: all encampments in parks are illegal, and the boardwalk is a park, so all encampments on the boardwalk are illegal.  However, due to the multiple reasons, the City government has decided not to enforce the no camping law.   That is why we have had the recent proliferation of people living on the boardwalk, which is estimated to be between 300 and 600 new people since the virus lockdowns began.

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Here are some resources:

Check out  Venice Neighborhood Council’s Homeless Resource Guide!

The Venice BID also has a community resource guide that has info for  homeless services, mental health, and more.

Local Laws (LAMC) for LA Public Places.

Following info found on venicebeachbid.com/resources

  • 63.44(O)(1): No motorized devices on Boardwalk/sidewalk
  • 41.57(a): No loud and raucous noise
  • 41.27(c): No drinking in public
  • 63.44(B)(24): No smoking in park, sand/beach, pagoda, or Boardwalk
  • 63.44(B)(20): No indecent exposure in public
  • 41.18(a): No person shall block street, sidewalk, or other public right of way causing to obstruct pedestrian traffic
  • 41.18(d): No person shall sit, lie, or sleep in or upon any street, sidewalk, or other public right of way
  • 41.47.2: No urination or defecation in public
  • 63.44(a): No person shall enter, remain, or loiter in any park between 10:30pm-5am
  • 63.44(B)(17): No cooking or BBQs on Boardwalk or the beach
  • 63.44(I)(13)(e): No affixing anything to trees or City property

Visit venicebeachbid.com/resources for more local laws and info!

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Feb. 17, 2021 photos of Muscle Beach Gym and Handball Courts

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Photos of Muscle Gym and the Handball Courts taken earlier this month.


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