By Elizabeth Cook

SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — Fed up with complaints about homeless people and their behavior at a popular San Rafael park, the mayor says it’s time to shut it down.

Closure signs are in the process of being created at Boyd Memorial Park and will be posted at the beginning of next week.

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Annie, a homeless residents of the park, is worried about losing her home base. “There’s nothing wrong with it,” she said. “It’s where we take care of each other. It’s where we bring our pets.”

For San Rafael’s down and out, the park has become the preferred spot to spend the day. It offers plenty of benches, a portable bathroom. After all, it is a public space.

“Whether we have a roof, or we don’t have a roof, it’s the same rights, you know?” Annie said. “Just like the people who come here with their children.”

San Rafael resident Kate Major agrees. “It would be like anybody else — sitting down, eating, reading, enjoying the sunshine.”

But not every person who uses this park treats it like their own home.

“There’s people that make us look bad, like the fire here,” Annie said.

That fire was in a private building the city tries to keep locked. But the problems don’t end with the fire.

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Jean Zerrudo with Marin History Museum said there’s also drug use and “things that are not allowed in public parks.” He said there’s also been broken windows at the museum, which is located next door to the park.

Next week, at the direction of Mayor Gary Phillips, this park will be fenced off and closed for at least 30 days.

“I think it is a really good start in cleaning up the park,” Zerrudo said.

With plenty of minor vandalism, and a derelict tennis court, the park itself could clearly use some work. But to some, shutting everyone out seems a little heavy handed.

“Unless you’re breaking the rules, or the law, I don’t see why you can’t use it,” Major said.

And for the homeless at Boyd park, that will simply mean finding a new place to go.

“It ain’t going to stop no cycle Mr. Mayor,” Annie said. “There’s too many of us.”

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The mayor of San Rafael was not available to comment for this story.

Elizabeth Cook