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Lytton Plaza and Limitations on Sound Amplification

Original post made by Herb Borock, Professorville, on Oct 20, 2011

The Parks and Recreation Commission on Tuesday evening, October 25, will be considering making a recommendation about a draft ordinance to impose a permit requirement and time use limitations on sound amplification equipment at Lytton Plaza.

Agenda: Web Link

Staff Report: Web Link

Amplified sound and free speech are the major historical issues and events at Lytton Plaza, beginning before Lytton Plaza was purchased by the City of Palo Alto and dedicated as a park.

When Lytton Plaza was redeveloped, the advocates of the new design, the City staff, and the City Council all said the Lytton Plaza's role as a free speech site would not change.

I encourage those who are interested in the future of Lytton Plaza to become informed about the proposed ordinance changes regarding amplified sound at Lytton Plaza.

Comments (2)

Like this comment
Posted by Let it be
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 21, 2011 at 12:18 am

Lytton Plaza is the only open plaza that people actually use. Are there any others?
The open area on University and Cowper is barren and no one hangs around there, the corner of Homer and High has been concreted in and the one on Channing and High is designed to repel humans and no one uses it. The supposed one on the corner of Channing and Alma is a joke.
There was supposed to be an open area in front of Cafe Riace on Sheridan Ave but it isn't there.
The Lytton Plaza remodel sterilized it, that's bad enough. Leave it alone!

Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm

It's an unfortunate document. It does not reflect the public's best interest. I hope to attend the meeting to oppose the changes in person, and write further on this, as time permits.

The proposal, at the very least, would not pass muster on First Amendment grounds.

It's the same old story with certain interests treating Lytton Plaza as a business community asset and not a park or public asset. I hope the commissioners stand up to this.

Wikipedia has an article that lists case law regarding busking or live music in public parks.

I'd rather see staff time arguing for reinstated music in the parks series.

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