Safety concerns prompt Nederland council to discuss changing park hours

Published 12:03 am Sunday, December 8, 2019

NEDERLAND — Limiting park hours for safety concerns and a potential future with food trucks are topics scheduled for discussion Monday during the Nederland City Council meeting.

Two teenagers were shot Nov. 10 in Doornbos Park when they were on the premises an hour before the park closed. Nederland Police said the victims were parked at the back of the park when four people approached, several armed and one with a baseball bat.

The victims tried to leave when the assailant with the baseball bat started beating on the vehicle. Then several shots were fired.

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Three bullets struck the vehicle and one went through the passenger’s thigh, and police believe the same bullet struck the driver in the ring finger.

Two weeks later at the park, a Nederland man walking his service dog was tricked into answering a plea for help when an assailant jumped him, hitting him in the eye.

Another assailant used a sharp wooden stake to poke the victim before rifling through his pockets.

The park is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Nederland city officials said opening Doornbos Park, and all others in the city, an hour later and closing an hour earlier during the winter months could help increase safety.

Nederland’s elected leaders are also holding a public hearing to receive comments regarding plans to establish a Mobile Food Truck Pilot Program with regulations allowing food trucks to operate within city limits “in an orderly, safe, and healthful manner.”

Temporary permits would be available no more than 12 times during the calendar year and no more than once a month and for a three-day period.

Potential regulation introduced by the city would include a fee of $50 with the permit only issued to applicants with a brick-and-mortar business in Nederland or with a residential home with a homestead exemption in Nederland.

Food trucks and trailers would only be allowed in commercial and industrial zoning districts, could not park overnight, could not locate within 50 feet of a residential structure and cannot open within 100 feet of the primary entrance of an operating restaurant without written permission from the restaurant.

Numerous other regulations were also suggested for a pilot program, which would begin in January.

No official action will take place Monday. The Nederland Planning and Zoning Commission will also meet next week and vote on a recommendation. The item would return to the city council for action Dec. 16.

Monday’s City Council meeting starts at 4:30 p.m. at Nederland City Hall, 207 North 12th St.