Updated: 08/18/2014 7:33 AM
Created: 08/17/2014 9:41 PM KSTP.com
By: Tim Sherno
Neighbors living near East Cedar Lake Beach in Minneapolis will meet Monday night to discuss short-term measures and long-term solutions to reduce a spike in crime and disorderly behavior associated with the area.
East Cedar Lake Beach is better known by another descriptive name: Hidden Beach.
Anita Tabb is the Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner in District 4, which includes East Cedar Lake Beach. She says an effort to push back against crime has been ongoing this season.
"We've really tried to use enforcement as a tool," Tabb said, adding that behavior at the beach is preventing other residents from enjoying the area. "Drinking and driving drunk or using drugs, profanity … the kinds of livability issues that make it really hard for people to want to be around that."
Tim McManus lives near the entrance to the beach, and he says the beach can be beautiful and tranquil.
"You come down here in the morning and it's like coming to a lake in northern Minnesota," he said. "It's quiet. There are loons who live out here."
McManus knows something must be done to curb crime in the area but hopes the charm of the unique secluded beach will not be lost.
"We'd like to have some sort of solution that allows the beach to still be open and all my neighbors to still be happy, too," he said.
Monday night's meeting will focus on short-term and long-term solutions. Tabb says quick fixes will be difficult to implement and enforce, but she hopes a community-driven solution can be reached after the beach is closed for the season, with changes undertaken at some point after that.
One solution currently proposed would close the beach permanently by planting the area with dense vegetation, making it difficult to reach the shoreline. Another option would be to remove low growth and some trees to improve sightlines.