Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Will Fritz
Staff Writer 

Homeless update: FVA may take over the Pico

 

Last updated 1/25/2020 at 6:43am

A plan by some local community members could result in homeless people being moved out of the Pico Promenade in downtown Fallbrook, where some encampments have formed.

According to Roy Moosa, president of the nonprofit Fallbrook Village Association, a letter has been sent around to property owners along the Promenade – which runs on both sides of a creek between Mission Road and Main Avenue, from Elder Street to Fallbrook Street – to request permission for the Village Association to take over administering the area.

"That way, every time we want to do something, we don't have to go and get five or six people's permission, we just get the permission," Moosa told Village News Jan. 20.

Moosa discussed the plan to have the Village Association take over the Promenade at the Fallbrook Revitalization Committee's last meeting on Jan. 7.

At that meeting, he said the problems began in the Pico Promenade when the decision was made to close off the Village Association-run Jackie Heyneman Park at night, preventing people from sleeping there and encouraging some of them to move to the Promenade.

The plan to have the Village Association take over the Promenade arose, Moosa said, when it was discovered that the area is not actually county property as had originally been thought.

"The county basically said, 'we have nothing to do with the Pico Promenade, we have an easement because there's a stream there,' which was a shock to us, we thought the county owned it," Moosa said at the Revitalization Committee meeting. "In doing further research, the Pico Promenade is actually owned by the property owners that are adjacent to it, so it's private property."

The Promenade area, he said, was put together two to three decades ago by the Fallbrook Village Association, the Fallbrook Beautification Alliance and the Fallbrook Land Conservancy's Save Our Forest program, without any knowledge of the area's true ownership.

While the fact that the Pico Promenade is actually private property came as a surprise, that fact actually creates a few advantages in helping to deal with the homelessness issue in that area, Moosa said, and allowing the Village Association to administer the area will streamline the process.

"Once you create one voice, you can go forward and get grants for lighting. You can start posting signs saying 'the right to use this can be refused to anyone,'" he said. "You can actually open and close, saying 'no trespassing after sunset or after 9 p.m.' It gives you control."

Reached by phone on Jan. 20, Moosa said if all of the property owners along the Pico Promenade agree, the Village Association would like to restrict access at night and install solar-powered night lighting.

Jackie Heyneman, namesake of Heyneman Park, longtime Fallbrook resident and founder of Save Our Forest, is helping to facilitate the process of going around to the property owners along the Pico Promenade to ask their permission to have the Village Association take over the space.

Heyneman said two property owners have already signed off on the plan.

"They are not asked for any membership fee or anything," Heyneman said. "The Village Association has emphasized this is at no cost to you, what we are seeking is your permission to pursue the solar lighting."

Heyneman also said if the property owners all sign off, the Village Association would like to file letters with the sheriff's department to investigate after-hours trespassing in the Pico Promenade.

Of course, one problem is that some of the homeless people who are kicked out of the Pico Promenade will likely just migrate to other areas of Fallbrook.

"We kicked them out of Heyneman Park and they moved to the Promenade and when they get kicked out of there, they're gonna go somewhere else," Moosa said.

There were about a dozen people who appeared to be living in the Pico Promenade on the afternoon of Jan. 20.

One person who is homeless and regularly spends time in the park, 31-year-old Alfonso Lopez, said he came to Fallbrook a couple of weeks ago from Vista.

In Fallbrook, he said, there's less drug use and he has less fear of fights among other people living on the streets than he did in Vista. If he were kicked out of the Promenade, he said he and others wouldn't know what to do.

"We don't have any place to go right now," Lopez said.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com.

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Our Family of Publications Includes:

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019