New Hemming Park Boundary Being Discussed, Aimed At Keeping Rule-Breakers At Bay

Nov 16, 2016

Jacksonville City Council members met Wednesday to discuss ways to cut down on rule-breaking in the park outside of Jacksonville’s City Hall.

The council is proposing to extend the boundary of Hemming Park’s rules to the surrounding streets. The council is especially concerned with disturbing the peace, patrons not wearing appropriate clothing, panhandling and sleeping in the park.

Under the new plan, rules violators would have to move to sidewalks across from the park or risk a trespassing violation.

“If an individual is trespassed from Hemming Park or any other park, they’re not allowed back into the park for a period of up to one year,” said council member John Crescimbeni.

Crescimbeni said the boundary proposal and changes to the trespassing rules will now go before a larger committee.

Also discussed at the meeting was the city possibly taking control of the park in 2017.

Friends of Hemming, the nonprofit that currently runs it, is running out of time to gather appropriate funds to continue. Crescimbeni said the city is obligated to do what it can to help the organization, but he and other council members said Friends is only funded by the city until March 31. 

News intern Blake Allen can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org, or on Twitter @BAllenMMJ.