Los Angeles business owners, residents dismayed after city removes homeless encampment measures

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Los Angeles business owners, residents dismayed after city removes homeless encampment measures

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Business owners and residents in Los Angeles criticized the city’s decision to remove planters that locals said greatly reduced crime in the area. 

“I think it’s a really terrible thing that they’re doing because those planters were there to keep the encampments away,” Hollywood resident Jacqui Antebi told NBC4 Los Angeles

Crews of workers removed the planters along Highland Boulevard in Hollywood on Monday after the city found that the planters were erected without proper approval from the government. Local business owners and residents initially put up planters in May to prevent homeless encampments from taking over the area, according to the report. 

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Business owners and residents in Los Angeles criticized the city’s decision to remove planters that locals said greatly reduced crime in the area. (Getty Images)

“We understand the frustration that local businesses feel about this issue, and we encourage residents to follow the legal process and work with the city to obtain the proper permits to install community beautification projects in the public right of way,” a spokesperson for Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martínez told NBC4. 

“This the first time I’ve been able to walk down the street in years because it’s been filled with drug dealers, homeless people. It’s been unsafe. I almost got ambushed once just trying to walk home,” Antebi said of life after the planters were placed on the street. 

Some business owners pointed to the massive reduction in crime after the planters were erected in May. 

“We’ve seen at least a 90% drop in crime around here,” business owner Andrew Monheim said. “And we’re just trying to run our businesses and have safety for people.” 

“It’s a continuation of neglect, so we’re just trying to get a better solution,” Monheim said. “If you’re going to remove the planters, put something into place or some sort of beautification of strategy as opposed to bodies on the ground.”

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Homeless tower in Skid Row California

A massive residential tower in California will provide homeless people with a swanky new living space and luxury amenities, including a café, gym and TV lounge. (Sarah Reingewirtz/MediaNews Group | Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images/Weingart)

The homeless crisis in Los Angeles continues to divide residents, with funding from state housing funds and tax credits going toward paying for housing for homeless people in a residential tower in the Skid Row neighborhood.

The 19-story tower will provide sprawling views of downtown and the San Gabriel Mountains, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“We’re trying to make our little corner of the world look and feel a little better,” Weingart Center Assn. Chief Executive and President Kevin Murray told the outlet.

Soto-Martínez’s office and Mayor Karen Bass did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital

Fox News’ Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.

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