The grand staircase at San Jose's Communication Hill will soon get a curfew.
A new bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown this week allows San Jose to classify the popular staircase as a park or trail and regulate the hours it is open to the public. The steps, which attract crowds and fitness enthusiasts, are currently public and open 24 hours a day.
Neighbors said the crowds bring added traffic and noise at all hours of the day. At night, residents claim the area is plagued by drugs and alcohol.
"No one anticipated that it was essentially going to become this hangout spot," said Jeremy Jones of the Tuscany Hills Homeowners Association, who has been fighting for the city to regulate the steps for five years. "Our hope is that (the city) is going to use that power to be able to come here and say, 'Look, nighttime, we need to shut this place down, we need to let people have peace and quiet.'"
Some residents are not in favor of a curfew at Communications Hill.
"That's a bad idea to put a curfew because it looks like it's public space and people should be allowed," San Jose-resident Ganesh Srinivasan said.
The law goes into effect on Jan. 1. The city council will then need to approve what hours they want to have a curfew at Communications Hill.
"Hitting that balance for having it available for the public, but also minimizing the nuisance factors that residents have been complaining about," San Jose spokesman David Vossbrink said.