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Fence to solve 'problem area' for Arcata police

ARCATA- The fence surrounding city property between 7th street and the Uniontown Plaza Shopping Center in Arcata will remain a permanent fixture said staff.

The chain link fence borders the land that separates the shopping center from the street. Before the fence the area was used as a gathering place.

Lt. Ryan Peterson of the Arcata Police Department said officers responded to the area multiple times during the day. He said the area had become a problem because people would often engage in illegal behavior and litter.

Peterson said the area is not designated or built to be a park and therefore made the city liable. He also said that the amount of trash and litter was an environmental concern because the hill drains into a nearby creek.

Snow fencing was put up in the area two weeks ago, with the city building the permanent fence last week. At the City Council's meeting last month the council discussed the problem where residents voiced their concerns. 

"I think [the fence] reinforced to everyone that the area is not suitable for public access," Peterson said.