DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police are stepping up patrols as new rules go into effect at the popular Washington Park.
The new rules came after growing criticism about unruly behavior and large crowds at the park.
“It’s an unfortunate change, that’s what it is,” a volleyball player said.
“Before you just showed up, set up, played all day and went home, and we’ve been doing it for years,” volleyball player and area resident Brian Zak said.
Starting Memorial Day weekend those wanting to play a sport will have to first sign up for a permit. The temporary permits are first come, first serve and can be issued for three or six hour time frames. When signing up players leave a deposit, and if they don’t return on time they could face fines.
“The whole thing is a little frustrating, truthfully,” Zak said.
Although players say the process is frustrating, the city hopes that by requiring the permits it cuts back on some of the crowds. And neighbors say they agree with the rules
“Volleyball tends to degrade the park use and scare away a lot of people,” area resident Frank Miltenberger said. “A lot of neighbors will not come out here on the busy weekends. My wife doesn’t like to come out here.”
The city says the new rules will hopefully mean greater access to the park for all who want to enjoy it, and that it’s not just about the people using the park but preserving the actual park itself.
“The last thing we want is to overuse the park and then no one gets to utilize the meadow,” a park employee said.
“Play by permit” isn’t the only change to hit Wash Park this summer. The city says they’re also stepping up enforcement just as a friendly reminder to park goers.
The deposit for a permit is $10 per hour for up to six hour blocks. The deposit is fully refundable if checking out by the deadline.
The permit rules apply every weekend until Labor Day.