Opening WeHo’s park restrooms 24/7 will cost $400,000+ every year

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West Hollywood’s LGBTQ Commission is set to review City Hall’s plan to open public restrooms at the city’s parks 24/7 primarily to accommodate homeless people — a move that will cost more than $400,000 for the first year alone. This initiative, which has been under consideration since a request by the Council Subcommittee on Homelessness in November 2021, has evolved through various stages of discussion and planning.

The proposal’s journey began when the City Council was approached to explore the possibility of expanding access to public restrooms. Following this, staff engaged with the subcommittee in August 2022 to deliberate on potential strategies and gather feedback. The discussions continued into June 2023, with the Subcommittee, now led by Councilmember Chelsea Byers and Councilmember  John Heilman, reviewing examples from other jurisdictions and assessing the current state of public restrooms in West Hollywood, especially in the context of a post-COVID-19 environment.

On August 21, 2023, the City Council took decisive steps by instructing staff to initiate an awareness campaign about the existing public restrooms’ locations and hours. Additionally, the Council greenlit expanded access to West Hollywood Park and called for a detailed analysis of similar facilities at Plummer Park. The Council also emphasized the importance of discussing safety concerns with relevant City Advisory Boards and Commissions.

Staff is now seeking input from the LGBTQ Commission regarding the proposed location of the Plummer Park restrooms. The recommendation is to revisit this item during the mid-year budget cycle. The financial implications of the proposal have been outlined, with an initial estimated cost of $423,080 for the first year. This budget includes $10,000 for an outreach campaign and signage, and a substantial allocation toward security and maintenance for the restrooms at both West Hollywood and Plummer Parks.

The breakdown of the costs reveals a significant investment in security services, with West Hollywood Park requiring $135,780 annually for two security ambassadors for additional hours, and Plummer Park needing $226,300 per year for overnight security—a service currently not in place. The proposal also accounts for cleaning and supplies, estimated at $51,000 per year.

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The ongoing expenses for subsequent years are projected at $413,080, with an expectation of annual cost escalations based on existing contract terms. This comprehensive financial plan underscores the city’s commitment to addressing the needs of its residents and visitors by providing safe, clean, and accessible public restrooms.

As the LGBTQ Commission reviews the proposal, the outcome will be closely watched by community members and stakeholders. The decision will not only reflect the city’s dedication to public health and safety but also its responsiveness to the needs of a diverse population, including those experiencing homelessness. The Commission’s feedback will be pivotal in shaping the final stages of the proposal before it is potentially rolled out as part of the city’s infrastructure improvements.

 
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Cy Husain
3 months ago

Spending money to make our place or the world for that matter a better place is an excellent investment. I would like to see West Hollywood have far better public restrooms with even showers of Dubai quality open 24/7. The lack of public facilities is a deliberate aspect of hostile architecture, an apartheid urban-design strategy to restrict access to targeted groups of people and, what the Great Architect Zaha Hadid called “a mistake just one natural disaster away from coming back to haunt us ❗ “

Anon
Anon
3 months ago

No one spoke to park staff about their concerns regarding this plan. Concerns, of which there are many. They’re the ones who have to manage these restrooms on a daily basis, even with the presence of BBB and are constantly abused by belligerent people who refuse to leave the restrooms after hours of being camped out in there. Then, they get blamed for the problem by park visitors who constantly demand “why they don’t do anything about these people”. They’re stuck in a no-win situation here.

Morty
Morty
3 months ago

This will be a complete disaster. How much did the city spend to build West Hollywood park? Now they want to turn it into a homeless encampment? Let them take one of their empty lots and put in 50 porto-potties with a full time security guard. It’s unfortunate but most of these homeless people are drug addicts. When we were building our house in Weho we constantly had people breaking into the old structure and camping out doing drugs. It was a complete mess and we’re lucky they didn’t start a fire. That’s what will happen at West Hollywood park.

not fair to residents
not fair to residents
3 months ago

The transients and bums have already ruined the quality of life of residents of West Hollywood. We should be chasing them out of town, not rolling out the red carpet.

Co-Living Dorms
Co-Living Dorms
3 months ago

How about Weho promoting Co-Living Dorms where an ordinary resident can share space with a housing challenged individual. The City Council Members could volunteer for the pilot program.

BloodshotEyed Guy
BloodshotEyed Guy
3 months ago

They had already opened up the bathrooms to the homeless at the San Francisco Public Library. And if you have ever gone, you know that you can smell the urine from a half a block away before you even get to the front door. Then when you open the door, I swear to Jebus, you have to hold your breath until you get up the stairs and away from the smell from the first floor bathroom, which is usually filled with homeless people. At least it was the last time I was there a few years ago before the city… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by BloodshotEyed Guy
Uron
Uron
3 months ago

Since some in the city have a fantasy of WeHo becoming Amsterdam, why not install public urinals similar to what the Dutch have had for 100 years. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pee_curl

JF1
JF1
3 months ago

Seems like we accommodate the homeless a lot…to a significant cost to the working taxpayer. Unless these are monitored by personnel 24/7 they will be a mess…and will become used by ONLY the homeless. And it will most likely increase the homeless numbers that are within our city (but who’s counting…only our councilmembers that have declared the number of homeless in our city have decreased…yeah right. Any one with connected braincells can identify that as a bold face lie).

Last edited 3 months ago by JF1
Carleton cro9nin
3 months ago

Needs a 24/7 armed guard to be relevant.

:dpb
:dpb
3 months ago

This is ludicrous and nothing about it aligns with increasing public health nor public safety.

resident
resident
3 months ago

This is another step toward making the vagrants and transients a permanent fixture in our lives. Making it easier to live as a vagrant in West Hollywood hurts the rest of us.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
3 months ago

The words “community members and stakeholders” should be replaced with the more apt word “residents”.

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