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Residents voice opinion over Sand Dune Park

April 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The name is a little deceiving because the dune at Sand Dune Park is off limits. It's been closed for nearly a year."When I would come to this park I would come to hang out with my friends when I was younger," Patrick Dexter from Manhattan Beach said. "It's really unique, it's a fun spot to go to and I see kids that grow up around here don't have that opportunity anymore."

For years Sand Dune Park used to be a mecca for people who wanted to kick up their work out routine.

The once hidden treasure got so popular that traffic went from 1,000 to 9,000 visitors a month.

"We'd have sports teams with bull horns and people generally abusing from sheer volume of traffic," Manhattan Beach resident Lynne Lear said.

Due to popular demand there are plans to re-open the hill, but with major restrictions.

"The council asked staff to look at no exercise on the dune, limited walking use, favoring children and mitigating the impacts of the neighborhood," Manhattan Beach public works director Jim Arndt said. "What we've tried to do is create those kinds of options for consideration."

One option is to create a pay reservation system where up to 20 people at a time can use the hill for exercise.

"I think it's ridiculous, Dexter said. "Residents say it's because noise complains because of increased use in the dune. But on the other side of the hill I live near the beach and I understand that people use the beach because it's a public area and it's not in my right to restrict access to it."

But the city says restricting access is the only way they please people on both sides of Sand Dune Park.

"Yeah it was a great workout, Westchester resident Anthony Catanzariti said. "But what are we going to look into, the workout, or what's here for the kids. And that's what I think a park is for, the kids."

City officials are hoping to enforce all the restrictions with fines and believe Sand Dune Park will open later this year.


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