Cuddy Park campers receive abatement notice over concert event

Campers at Cuddy Park received abatement notices on Wednesday from the Anchorage Police Department on behalf of Parks and Recreation.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 8:07 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Campers at Cuddy Park received abatement notices on Wednesday telling them to leave as the city continues to find ways to shelter them.

The campers at the Midtown Anchorage park were told by officers with the Anchorage Police Department on behalf of Parks and Recreation that they have 10 days to leave the area, situated largely between East 36th Avenue and East Tudor Drive, and Denali Street and A Street.

Anchorage Parks and Recreation Director Mike Braniff says that the abatement notice is due to a concert event that is set to take place from June 16 to 18.

“All this took place before the Sullivan Arena closed, and so many camps arrived at Cuddy Park,” Braniff said. “And so the situation had changed, and I really think what this comes down to at this point is a commitment we’ve made to an event organizer and expensive permit that we’ve issued for them to use the park for 10 days.”

Braniff says that the promoter — Showdown Alaska — anticipated selling 10,000 tickets, and says he believes they have been successful in doing so.

“We are trying to take a sensitive approach where we give people a lot of time to pack up and work on their plans and to work with once the process starts,” Braniff said.

Those at the park are receiving notices they must leave the park, but they aren’t receiving directions on where they can go otherwise, according to Lieutenant Luis Soto with the police department, who was out at the park handing out notices.

“I cannot make some suggestions of where to go or anything,” Soto said. “What I will tell you and suggest and reach out to resources that, you know, the health department has and be able to hopefully, be relocated in a different place.”

Sinar Caicedo is currently camping at the park and says that he has a plan moving forward, as well as a storage unit and a job providing him options, but he also understands there are also many at the park who are not as fortunate; those with health and mental health issues.

“Some of the 90 people that are gonna be kicked out at the end of this month are handicapped and psychiatric as well, and they’re going to be on the streets as well,” Caicedo said. “Now we have a problem. Everyone’s got to go, you’re gonna have a population of United States citizens with nowhere to go.”

Braniff says the abatement is scheduled to take place on June 6, which he says gives ample time to clean the park before preparing for the concert.