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Hollywood to restrict playground areas to children

Adults and teenagers will no longer be permitted in Hollywood playgrounds unless accompanied by a child.

Parents have expressed concerns about adults lurking around playgrounds where their children are playing. During a recent meeting, the Hollywood Commission passed an ordinance prohibiting adults and teenagers from being in a playground unless they are with a child no older than age 12. This restriction does not apply to City athletic fields.

Hollywood Police Chief Frank Fernandez said this ordinance will protect the City’s children. Police officers will instruct adults and teenagers to leave playground areas if they see them hanging around. He said that police officers have been trained to deal with this matter and will used discretion when asking people to leave.

Mayor Peter Bober said that some parents simply won’t take their children to the City’s parks if they are uncomfortable with the adults they see hanging around the parks and playgrounds.

During the discussion phase, the question of whether elderly people could be permitted to be in the playground area or whether younger teenagers could spend time there. Teenagers will be permitted in the play areas if they are caring for younger children. 

Hollywood Parks Director Chuck Ellis spoke during the meeting and said that it has been reported that teenagers have vandalized playground equipment and damaged the equipment by using it improperly.

This ordinance addresses the safety of children in parks citywide, while maximizing the utilization of play areas and equipment available for children, for whom the equipment is specifically designed.  

There are currently thirty-eight play areas in Hollywood’s parks.  Appropriate signs will be placed at the designated play areas reflecting the restrictions and how to report a violation. The Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts staff and Police Officers will monitor these areas for compliance and respond to complaints by any member of the public that observes what they believe to be a violation of the Code.  A violator is subject to a fine of up to $500.00 and/or imprisonment for up to 60 days.

The cost of producing and installing 94 signs at the forty (40) locations with designated play areas is $7,040.00.

David Volz
David Volz
David Volz has been a reporter for Hollywood Gazette since 2011 and has worked for numerous community news publications throughout South Florida over the past two decades including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal. He is a Professor in the Business department at Broward College and the editor of the Coral Springs Connection, an online community news website. He covers city government, schools, sports events, cultural activities, faith groups and workplaces.

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