LA councilman defends proposal on banning single adults from playgrounds

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell Thursday defended his proposal to limit access at playgrounds to children and their accompanying parents or guardians.

Under a motion introduced by O'Farrell at a City Council meeting on Dec. 14, the city attorney, with the assistance of the Department of Recreation and Parks, would be directed to prepare and present a draft ordinance on the issue.

Playground areas in city parks are usually delineated by a perimeter and those areas would be clearly marked with signage stating the limited access, O'Farrell's office said.

The councilman was critical of reports this week by various media outlets around the country on his proposal, which he said would keep adults without children out of playgrounds -- but not the entire park.

"Despite what news outlets have been incorrectly reporting, I want to reassure you -- this is not a ban on adults without children from using our parks,'' O'Farrell said in a prepared statement. "This proposal is limited and affects a small area of the park. I want all Angelenos to enjoy our recreational activities, and I especially want our children and their families to feel safe in any environment.''

O'Farrell said his proposal is similar to ones on the books in other cities, and it is intended to keep play areas safe from drug dealers "and other disturbing behavior.''

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