Huntridge Circle Park is shutting down, but only for a couple months.
Neighbors have voiced concerns about the homeless population at the park, which is located on Maryland Parkway just south of Charleston Boulevard.
But the city says it’s closed for an entirely different reason.
A sign says Huntridge Circle Park will be closed now through Nov. 30, and while neighbors and business owners in the area say they’re happy to see things calm down, they’re not sure the temporary closure will do anything to address the real issue.
“They camp back here, they camp in front, or in back of my neighbors,” said Christopher Tilman, a private attorney who owns a nearby business.
He says the area behind his law office is a hotspot for the homeless.
“They’ve started fires back here. They use this as their toilet.”
Tilman’s practice is right across the street from Huntridge Circle Park. Since the temporary closure signs went up Thursday morning, he says the homeless have already created a mess.
“Apparently was using drugs, evidence of needles over here, so that’s in the hour between the landscaper leaving and it being discovered, so that’s what we deal with,” Tilman said.
He is happy the park will be less of an eyesore but fears the homeless will continue to spill into the neighborhood.
“I’m not unsympathetic to their plight, but I’m trying to run a business.”
The city of Las Vegas says the nearly two month closure is not related to the homeless issue — it’s for park upkeep.
In a statement, they said, “The maintenance work includes turf reduction in some areas that will require the use of herbicides.”
But people who live nearby are skeptical.
“How many times since this park has opened have they had to close it down for landscaping,” said Damion Vader, who lives nearby. “I think they come every week and do that. So, I think it has a little more to do with something else.”
Regardless of the reason, neighbors say the short-term shutdown is not a solution.
“If they don’t settle down somewhere else, they’ll just float around until it opens back up,” Vader said.
“In no way do I have the answers, but something’s got to be done,” Tilman said.
People in the area say they’ll be keeping a close eye on their homes and businesses throughout this temporary closure.
In July, an elderly woman living near the park was sexually assaulted and shot. Police found out the suspect was homeless.