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City: Don't Pee In Public

The Hermosa Beach City Council hears a report on public urination—a problem in town, according to police.

Hermosa Beach city officials and police aim to flush the issue of public urination around town with communication outreach efforts and participation from businesses.

Police Chief Greg Savelli in a meeting Tuesday night presented a report on the public urination problem, which council members unanimously agreed to receive and file as well as contact local businesses to discuss how patrons can "hold it."

"We have issued nearly 300 tickets over the last two years for this violation," Savelli told the council. "We hope that combinations of enforcement, education and strategic placement of additional bathrooms can reduce this problem."

Most of those cited for public urination were young men. "They find it easier to do," Savelli said. He added that most of the citations are issued on weekends.

City Manager Steve Burrell on Thursday told Patch that the cost of a public urination citation is $505.*

In Savelli's report, he suggested bars and late-night restaurants could address the issue by:

  • Solicit the assistance of late-night restaurants or bars to make a "last call" announcement before closing so patrons relieve themselves.
  • Restaurants could include drink napkins with a message to respect the community and use the bathroom before leaving the restaurant.
  • Restaurants could add similar messages to their websites, as well as remind customers on Facebook and Twitter.

Savelli said business owners have been proactive with combating the problem in the past. He said that the city could:

  • Improve signage for public restrooms.
  • Encourage lighting in areas downtown where there is dark lighting, which is an attractive location to publicly urinate.
  • Continue a zero-tolerance policy against public urination.
  • Publicize the names of those cited for public urination.

"The zero tolerance is first and foremost," Councilman Michael DiVirgilio weighed in.

*Editor's Note: This article was updated Thursday at 2:16 p.m. with the price of a public urination ticket in Hermosa Beach.

H. Schwartz August 11, 2011 at 02:56 PM
when smoking was banned on the beach it was because of the cigarette butts,no one ever suggested enforcing the no littering laws already on the books.Now we have public urination, in the interest of consistency and following the cities logic, close the bars.
Guy August 19, 2011 at 11:01 PM
If insight is not achieving the desired effect then maybe fear will. $505 per citation for urination in public is a serious threat and we should inform/remind all potential violators.

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