Plymouth Looks to Curb Marijuana Use, Vandalism at Lions Park
City Commission enacts new rules to address community concerns about park.
Plymouth City Commissioners hope Lions Park will again become a family-friendly destination with a new set of rules addressing concerns of teen loitering, vandalism and marijuana use.
Families who had been hoping to use the park located at Burroughs and Harding streets this summer to enjoy some family time have been discouraged by groups of as many as 30 teens loitering in the park's pavilion adjacent to its playground, Commissioner Diane Bogenrieder said, and Commissioner Gerald Sabatini said neighbors have reported crowds in the park at 3 a.m. and the occasional pungent odor of marijuana coming from the area.
City Manager Paul Sincock said the city's Department of Municipal Services also has worked on a nearly daily basis to address vandalism concerns in the park.
A set of new rules approved unanimously by the City Commission on Monday will limit the park's hours from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. and will prohibit smoking of any kind in the park.
The commissioners also said the teens had been hostile toward parents in the park, making it difficult for parents to address the problems themselves.
"If you have a little child, you're not going to get involved with vulgar kids," Sabatini said. "You're going to move away and go to another park."
Mayor Dan Dwyer said he had no problem with teens using the park, so long as they follow the rules.
Commissioner Ron Loiselle asked if the rules would apply to other parks, as the purported troublemakers could create problems elsewhere. Sincock said at this time, the rules would only apply to Lions Park, but said he expects such problems to subside once summer ends.
Sincock said the sign soon will go up in the park informing visitors of its 9 p.m. closing time.