Neighbors, visitors object to new park fence
Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Some neighbors are worried they're literally being fenced off from part of a popular Valley park.
The new fence around the northern section of Desert Breeze Park at Desert Inn Road and Durango Drive is taking shape in pieces. But some are worried the project is fencing off that part of the park from the rest of the community.
"It feels very unwelcome when you look at it," said neighbor Rich Gurrola. "An eight-foot fence with points on the top. I don't think it's really required in a neighborhood like this."
Gurrola said the fence sends a clear message.
"This is an opposing fence that says stay out, we don't want you in here," said Gurrola.
And Gurrola is questioning the roughly $900,000 price tag, which includes improvements to a nearby parking lot.
"There's got to be a better use of funds in the county than to put up a fence around a park that's been here for several years that hasn't required one," said Gurrola.
The gate will surround the soccer fields on the north end of the park. Other visitors use the fields as well.
"I thought the park was closed because I saw the iron rod fence there," said Joe Franco, a senior softball player who was practicing on the field.
So why the changes?
The fence came after complaints from soccer players and coaches that the fields are torn up, said Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin. The county said the hope is the fencing will protect the field and make the grass easier to replant by closing off the fields in sections when needed.
The county said fencing around soccer fields is not uncommon throughout the valley. The city of North Las Vegas spent roughly $190,000 for a fence around Tropical Breeze Park; the city also plans to rent out those fields.
"It's taking away something that should be public," said Gurrola.
But the county said that's not the case. Kulin said the fences will not be locked and the park will remain free and open to the public. The county will only close the fields for repairs or safety reasons, such as flooding, Kulin said.
The Rainbow Youth Soccer League has hundreds of players who use the fields throughout the year. President Ken O'Connell told Action News over the phone that he wants to see how the fences work and what impact they have on field conditions before passing judgment. Despite efforts from the county to reseed some of the fields over the last few years, O'Connell said the surface has deteriorated from heavy use.