Fence around Echo Park

Echo Park - Will Echo Park Lake always have a fence around it?

The chain-link fence went up around the park near the end of March, shortly after the city shut down a homeless encampment that had spread down the entire west bank of the lake.

No action seems to be in the works to remove it, and the local City Council representative said he is still receiving community input on what to do.

But the Neighborhood Council is formally asking to have it taken down - and not replaced.

“The fence is a visual blight,” the Neighborhood Council stated in a Request for Action that it submitted to Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell last month. “It makes the park less accessible, poses a fire hazard to people inside the park, and prevents vendors -- who are integral to the Echo Park community -- from entering and enjoying the park as they have for years. Worse, it sends the unmistakable message that Echo Park is not a welcoming neighborhood and that will never be one of our community’s values.”

Chain link fence at Echo Park Lake

There is also support for the fence, though no leader for that group seems to have emerged publicly so far.

A field deputy with O'Farrell's office recently told the neighborhood council that opinion was divided in the community based on input that the Council District 13 office received via email, according to Nick Marcone, Secretary with the Echo Park Neighborhood Council, and Mark Vigeant, co-chair of the Green Committee.

 An informal poll in The Eastsider last May also showed some support for the fence, though the overwhelming majority voted to take it down.

Councilmember O'Farrell said an informal dialogue about the fence is still ongoing, led by the Echo Park community.

“That conversation will continue, and I encourage nearby residents to make their voices heard to my office,” O’Farrell said.

Should Echo Park Lake be fenced in?

You voted:

News That Hits Home

News That Hits Home

The Eastsider needs your support!

The Eastsider is committed to providing news and information free to all as a community service. But reporting and writing neighborhood news takes time -- and money. Join the other Eastsider readers whose one-time contributions and monthly sponsorships help pay our bills and allow us to provide you the news and info that keeps you connected to your community. -- Jesus Sanchez, Publisher

Assistant Editor

Barry Lank has worked for newspapers on the East and West Coasts, and earned an MS in journalism from Columbia University. He formerly produced "National Lampoon Presents: The Final Edition." A native of San Gabriel Valley, he now lives in East Hollywood.

Load comments