Kenwood considers calling for temporary closure of Hidden Beach

Categories: Minneapolis
HiddenBeachRect.jpg
Nick Vlcek for City Pages
Hidden Beach isn't as hidden as it once was, but neighbors are fed up with all the pot smoking, drinking, and nudity that goes down there.
:::: UPDATE :::: Hidden Beach's fate to be decided by Park Board this winter

During a special meeting tonight, the Kenwood Isles Area Association will consider whether to support a resolution calling on the Minneapolis Park Board to temporarily close Hidden Beach, the Southwest Journal reports.

The measure would be a response, in part, to crime problems there. As of last month, there had been 60 police reports written this year pertaining to incidents at the beach, which is about twice as many as at this time last year, according to the Southwest Journal. (But while crime is up relative to last year, it's on par with 2011 and '12, the Journal adds.) Most of this year's reports pertain to drinking or pot smoking and/or possession.

See also:
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We called Minneapolis Park Board spokesperson Dawn Sommers for comment. She pointed out that Hidden Beach only became a city-authorized beach in 2007, and that part of the motivation for making it legit was to quell some of the illicit partying and nudity for which the beach was known.

Back in the summer of 2008, we discussed the transition of "the Twin Cities' most infamous party spot" to the entity now officially known as East Cedar Beach in our feature story, "The Legend of Hidden Beach."

Sommers referred further questions to Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner Anita Tabb, who didn't immediately return a voicemail seeking comment. Neither did Larry Moran, chair of the Kenwood Isles Area Association, though we'll update if and when we hear back.

An email distributed over the weekend by the Kenwood Isles Area Association (and published by the Southwest Journal) says, "Despite frequent police patrolling this summer (funded in part by KIAA) and the addition of a video camera at the park's entrance since the July meeting, the problems have multiplied. We believe both the Park Police and the MPD are doing a great job and support them in their work, but more needs to be done."

:::: UPDATE ::::

Reached for comment, Kenwood chair Moran says he wants to make a point of inviting Hidden Beach users who don't live in the neighborhood to come to tonight's meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Kenwood Recreation Center.

"We can complain to the police, which we've done, but it's the people who use that beach that are actually going to have to change it," Moran tells us. "We can't police ourselves out of this problem."

Moran says the issues at Hidden Beach go beyond people peacefully smoking pot or having a beer.

"There are people running into parked cars with their cars," he says. "Property crime goes up in the summer with Hidden Beach. It's on par with the past, but that's not very good."

"I live six blocks away and it's happening in our part of the neighborhood," he continues. "Seventy-five percent of the police reports aren't from Minneapolis [people]. Those people are causing the problems and they have become dangerous problems, with drunk drivers driving into parked cars. Lots of kids live in that neighborhood."

That said, Moran says he's not in favor of closing Hidden Beach for good, though not everyone in his neighborhood is of that opinion.

"There are some people who would like to see it closed and go back to nature, and that is one of the options -- to close it entirely," he says. "Some want to close it for the rest of the summer, others want to close it after 4 or 5 or 6 -- there are all sorts of iterations coming in. [But] I think at least most of the people I've talked to have said they don't want to close the beach because it's an asset."

But Moran, citing a recent incident where he claims 150-200 kids were still hanging out at the beach at the 10 p.m. closing time, says the status quo can't be maintained.

"I would like to see it changed, but not eliminated," he says. "We don't want to prevent people from coming, but if you use it you gotta be able to use it right."

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.






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193 comments
Joel O'Brien
Joel O'Brien

If I could afford to live there, I wouldn't want to look at shitbags either.

FREDRICKDOUGLAS
FREDRICKDOUGLAS

The police are evil!! cut their funding asap!! they should be broke like the rest of us!!! they never solve any crime!if anything they start it!! POLICE SHOULD ONLY SERVE AND PROTECT NOT SCARE AND PROVOKE!!! IF PEOPLE WANT TO RELAX ON A LAKE IN THE SUMMER IN GOSH DARN MINNESOTA THEY SHOULD HAVE THE FREEDOM TO DO SO WITHOUT SOME IDIOT IN A UNIFORM TELLING THEM WHAT TO DO. DOWN WITH THE POLICE!!

Allison Cunningham
Allison Cunningham

Completely agree. I have young children and just didn't go to Hidden Beach when we lived in the city. There are plenty of family beach options in the metro area.

Joel O'Brien
Joel O'Brien

Every time a hipster drowns, an angel gets its wings

Joel O'Brien
Joel O'Brien

Everytime a hipster drowns an angel gets its wings

Gina Theknife
Gina Theknife

Ehh who cares it's not the same anymore anyways.

Ken Hannigan
Ken Hannigan

The Police are the biggest "problem" with hidden beach, move on to solving real issues in MPLS. Stop wasting tax dollars and leave these kids alone!

michele226
michele226

That's an awesome idea!  We should close the beach so no one goes there!  And while we're at it, we should make drugs illegal too...oh, wait...

Jeremy Dowd
Jeremy Dowd

There is a seedy element--more engaged park patrols and citing the undesirable behavior will help curb those trying to ruin the fun for everyone. I don't want to see it closed--its a local institution.

John Moebakken
John Moebakken

well i went back to my jeep and not only my phone was untouched, a flower was on the seat.

John Moebakken
John Moebakken

i went there, and i left my phone in my jeep, with the top down. i was at the beach for about 30 minuts to a hour.

Jessica Williamson
Jessica Williamson

What the??? I will admit, the last time I was there about a week and a half ago I did notice an unusual amount of frat type guys hanging out and getting shitfaced while being annoyingly rowdy quite publicly. I've been going there since 2001 and this was never a problem before. There may have been the occasional college fraternity/sorority group or two, but they always seemed to be respectful of the group consciousness, allowing people of all ages to enjoy the beach without getting hassled by loud aggressive music, flying volleyballs, or being creamed while some dude is running to catch a football, (unfortunately these issues seem to be undeniably problematic at Lake Calhoun.) As far as I can remember, most people have always been very respectful of each other here, save for a few isolated incidents. One thing I think people really need to take into account is at one point in the article the author even states that crime has increased there, but IN ACCORDANCE with the year's crime rate. Also, over the past few years I've noticed more than anything, a perpetual increase of police patrol almost continuously on duty at Hidden beach. And with logic anyone can interpret a saturation of police in any community or public area will result in more arrests. Not necessarily an increase of crime, but of monitored and measured crime. The majority of arrests are from possession of pot and public drinking. Definitely not the two worst offences I can imagine. These two things have been going on there since I started going, and always semi publicly. So maybe there has been a few car related incidences. Can anyone think of a place in a downtown metropolis where this isn't the case? And it's true, Hidden Beach has become a little less "hidden," (unfortunately...) but an increase of population/visitors could alone explain an increase of crime. At least in the US, ( and usually most other places,) added population plus unchanging land mass equals increased crime potential, and more often than not, the outcome. Especially if there are crime reporters (cops), and even more so if those purported 'unbiased' patrollers get rewards and personal benefits from a ticketing or arrest, (higher pay grade, rank advancement, or even just some ol' fashioned ego stroking.). I mean, once a society is formed upon and becomes completely enraptured with a capitalist system, you can't expect the ones upholding the laws and regulations of said structure to be any different or play by separate rules. Also expecting the enforcers and the enforcers enforcers to not enjoy the power trip or added income they may gain from ticketing and producing more arrests is a completely silly expectation. Not because these things are good or just, but because these things are now an integral part of the criminal system our Society has developed concerning political and monetary advancement. An extraordinarily corrupt, abused and corrosive system, but exceptional in the way it can be construed into a seemingly acceptable and regulated way to deal with crime and justice. Many times easily placating masses with numbers, percentages, ratios, graphs, fact and figures, all which can and many times are misrepresented and easily manipulated. All while over saturating media with violent images and gross generalizations of what a criminal looks like talks like does and doesn't do. Keeping a population in a constant state of fear will allow anyone to properly 'motivate' (manipulate) group consciousness into believing that it is okay to infringe on our constitutional rights to be in a public domain without being unnecessarily harassed by the people originally purposed to uphold personal freedoms and safety, not infringe on rights by harassing peoples who choose to no longer be pegs in the wheel of daily grind or continuous social acceptance and conformity. In truth, I see much more personal public intoxication at Lake Calhoun Beach or any number of other beaches I've been to, including behavior of public urination, nudity, noise pollution and just a general lack of respect respect for other beach goers. So why is Hidden beach so different? I think it's the hippies and the pot. Along with increased police precence. I think one could also conclude that, at least in the past, nonconformists and law enforcement are not the best of friends. Could this possibly be a singeling out of 'social undesirables' and their public gathering area? Personally, I think it definitely has something to do with it. Are there not other beaches where people live in close proximity and it is just something people must compromise on. A closing time of 10 p.m. Sounds perfectly acceptable to me, 4 p.m. Or 5 does not even allow for one to watch the sunset, which is one of the best parts of being there in the late afternoon. When people bought their houses around the lake, did they not know of that specific public lake access point?? It may not have been specified a beach for 50 years, but public access is pretty clear in the wording, at least to me it is. Also I should point out that if this beach was making money for the city, for example, charging for admittance, this option of closing the beach would not be up for debate. Another example could be made of bar/restaurants that are often times erected lakeside. Bars are a huge component of increased crime in any populated area. And many times the crimes that are committed are not passive ones like possession but aggressive and violent like rape or assault. But do cities close those down because of increased crime rate? Absolutely not. These socially acceptable but often times criminly enducive hot spots are a big way in which cities can produce profit margins exceeding original expectations. The new golden rule is very applicable in the current logistical infrastructure. " He who has a gold makes the rules." Guess those "what would Jesus do" bracelets didn't really work out... So I guess in closing my point would be to let people enjoy their basic freedoms while we still are able. Continue to celebrate our unique individuality and in turn meet with people who are also individuals. Like thinkers who enjoy each other's unique differences, but understand the total peace in creating social unity, familial love, and artistic collaboration that can be established by a harmonious public arena in which to gather. Keep Hidden Beach and all that it stands for! As Minnesotans, and citizens of a nation founded on the ideal of personal freedom for all, we should really try to look deeply into what Hidden Beach actually stands for. Would you prefer freedom to be upheld, or systematically stifled by certain power hungry political agents?

Kristine Chattin
Kristine Chattin

I want to visit, haven't been there in 20 years, directions? Lol, funny memories of the people I saw there.

thisisrhift
thisisrhift

The people that wanted to turn Hidden Beach into "East Cedar Point Beach" were never the people that used the beach. Now those same people have a problem with people using the beach. Well no shit, they put the beach on a map, they are the ones that made this just as popular as the beaches on Calhoun.

serdi
serdi

Just because a kid riding his/her bicycle could eventually get hit by a drunken driver speeding away from the beach, is no good reason to close it.  Move to Edina if you are looking for safety!  

deepcyclegarage
deepcyclegarage

I used to go there a lot. We had fun times back when it was more hippies. Sense the "city" cut down all the trees I have seen a bad change. Way MORE PEOPLE and different kinds of people like a big fat (DRUNK) black guy that was racist, dumb as a box of rocks and potentially violent. Or how about the old guys on the back benches!? One is a DRUNK fat guy with diseased skin staring at young woman and expressing his closeted homosexuality towards guys in speedo's!? SUPER CREEPY! Poor, ignorant, potentially violent hood rat racists over doing it with cheap booze is also a reason I don't go back. But the number one reason I don't go to hidden beach is the MPD, there "winning the war on drugs"! They have young cops in plain clothes hang in the back watching for people drinking and smoking and call the uniformed cops in telling them exactly who is doing what  on a cell phone! I'm astonished at how unobservant the 99% are!? Maybe that's why there the 99%.... I can poke a one hit and drink a beer anywhere and not be around idiot drunks and hood rat racist scum or worse cops..... F' it let it go back to nature.

Andrea Lewis
Andrea Lewis

This is why hidden beach was hidden beach. maybe if they close it, it can become hidden again.

mrbrillhart
mrbrillhart

Should Hidden Beach be closed?

Yes. It should be closed to non-Minneapolis residents. 


Now, hear me out.

It sounds like the bulk of the complaints are related to people parking in the neighborhoods, urinating (or worse) in lawns, and being obnoxious/loud before getting in their cars to leave. The actual beach is far enough removed from the houses that bad behavior at the beach isn't really the issue here for residents. Obviously there are some busy body do-gooders who think it is their job to police what people do while at the beach, but it really sounds like the complaint generating problems are entirely caused by people who drive to the beach. Get rid of the cars and the worst problems will disappear.

myjah
myjah

I would totally go to this meeting but it's at the same time Masterchef is on.

myjah
myjah

So now they want to "close" the beach and let it "go back to nature"? Didn't those morons just rip out all the vegetation trying to "fix" the beach a few years ago? Unreal...

Larry Miller
Larry Miller

he thing is since the last time the Minneapolis Park Board went clearing the space of vegetation the beach has gotten worse. There is just more space, which allows for more people and more trouble. There used to be distinct areas that were quieter, and some that were more busy, now it is all busy, most of the time. The crowd also seems to be getting younger, which doesn't help either. I don't even like to go there anymore

Laura Keiser
Laura Keiser

It's a-holes who don't know how to act right creating the problem. I went to Hidden Beach for years, but if I lived near there and people were pissing in my yard, being loud, driving drunk, etc., I wouldn't like it, either.

Jesse Robinson
Jesse Robinson

They just wanna close it so they can make extra $$ from being able to ticket everybody there and the fact that being able to ticket anybody there, they are also able to search anybody there as well...

Angie Corbett
Angie Corbett

By closing it do they simply imply removing the lifeguard? If that's the case I would fully support that. Both times I was there this summer the only lifeguard on duty was a high school aged girl (by herself). Do her bosses just instruct her to turn a blind eye to what goes on there? That seems like a bit much to expect from a 16 year old in my opinion.

Misti Reynolds
Misti Reynolds

Leave the hidden beach people alone and go to lake of the isle beach

Sunshine Summerdays
Sunshine Summerdays

Can we just make it a adult only beach. We shouldn't have to fly out of this country to have a fun beach.

Angela Salzl
Angela Salzl

now I've never been there nor had the desire to visit. but I know many people who enjoy going. all good people who sure may enjoy hitting the bottle or a blunt from time to time but they're not criminals or troublesome! I have a child and I don't par take in the activities that other do there. therefore I go to one of the thousands of other beaches! damn let people have a place to go enjoy themselves! hire a life guard and call it a day.

Brent Colquhoun
Brent Colquhoun

Never used to be such a problem when the nudists used it !

Andy Schuler
Andy Schuler

Smoking weed is still illegal? Minnesota, have you learned nothing from Colorado and Washington?

Alex Browne
Alex Browne

It's not there are needles laying around from drug use. And the argument about not having kids around that environment falls apart if you have ever been to a professional sporting event, you'll see people in a much more intoxicated state at those events. There is this backwards thinking that parallels the same that was seen during prohibition allowing a certain class of people to do as they wish while oppressing others.

myjah
myjah

"Bars are a huge component of increased crime in any populated area. And many times the crimes that are committed are not passive ones like possession but aggressive and violent like rape or assault. But do cities close those down because of increased crime rate? Absolutely not."


Uh, have you ever heard of the (now closed) Champions Sports Bar and Grill? That's exactly what the city did.

holyshitusuc
holyshitusuc

Holy shit. Get a life you fucking loser! You are a pathetic virgin. 

deepcyclegarage
deepcyclegarage

the city ruined it by making it more open and the hood rats sealed the deal.

deepcyclegarage
deepcyclegarage

Absolutly but if I worked hard and was fortunate enough to have a million dollar home in the area I wouldn't want all those hood rats around either. It used to be small and just hippies.......

barbertj23
barbertj23 topcommenter

That's a pretty reasonable response to an article about a beach.

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