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Denver mayor vows review of permit procedures after Civic Center Park trashed

Posted at 8:26 AM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-24 19:25:43-04

DENVER – Mayor Michael Hancock is outraged and vows a review of the permitting process following the mess left after the 4/20 Rally in Civic Center Park Thursday.

The mayor held a press conference Monday morning and announced a thorough review of policies, procedures and requirements for permitted events.

“Seeing our Civic Center in a state of disrepair was for many in our city – including myself – deeply disappointing and discouraging. Our parks and public spaces are held in the public trust, and when organizers hold an event at one of these spaces, they have a responsibility to uphold that public trust," said Mayor Hancock in a statement.

A statement on behalf of the group's organizers criticized the mayor's comments. 

"The Denver 420 Rally organization and Civic Center Park productions, LLC previous spent hundreds of hours, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, to comply with all requests of officials from the City and County of Denver for permit conditions," an official from Corry and Associates law firm wrote.

The Denver 420 Rally Organization also refuted the fact that they violated any terms of leaving the park trashed, saying they employed paid people to clean up the park by the city's deadline. 

"The rally will not be blamed fro an alleged shooting outside of and unassociated with the Rally. In fact, the Rally complied with the City's demand that it hire security crews to hand-wand all members of the public entering Civic Center Park, which caused huge lines and some frustration. The Rally values its historical permit status and important contributions to Denver's diversity and culture, and looks forward to continuing its relationship with the city for many years in the future." 

This review comes on the heels of the 4/20 Rally hosted in Civic Center Park last week that left the park in disarray. Empty water bottles, uneaten festival food and other debris were littered along the sidewalks and the grassy area. Large piles of trash appeared to be ripped open and strewn across the southern area of the park near 14th Street.

Organizers say volunteers put the trash in bags Thursday night, although Denver Police disagree. Organizers say they believe a homeless person slashed the bags, but police said they could not find any evidence to suggest that on surveillance cameras.

City officials will review events’ trash management, public safety and security policies along with other relevant event impacts to ensure the protection of the community as well as Denver’s parks and open spaces, a press release stated.

Take a look at the photos of all the trash that litters Civic Center Park in this gallery.


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