In a recent City Commission meeting held on Monday, commissioners deliberated on Ordinance No. 23-11187, which focuses on prohibiting individuals from obstructing pedestrian and vehicular traffic, as well as marked vehicular parking spaces in public places.
The issue of individuals impeding sidewalks and parking spaces, particularly in the downtown area, has been a recurring topic of discussion among the Governing Body and the general public. City officials, including the City Prosecutor and City Legal Counsel, conducted a comprehensive review of the city's existing ordinances and relevant case law. The objective was to ensure that the proposed ordinance is carefully crafted to address public safety concerns without infringing on essential legal or constitutional rights.
Key Points of the Ordinance:
- Establishes findings regarding the necessity and foundation of the ordinance.
- Defines obstruction of pedestrian traffic, vehicular traffic, and marked vehicular parking spaces.
- Provides definitions for public places and the terms "sitting" or "lying."
- Declares it unlawful in public places to obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or marked vehicular parking spaces, with exceptions outlined within the ordinance.
Connection to Previous Legislation:
Ordinance 21-11077, enacted on September 21, 2021, prohibits camping on public property or rights-of-way. The newly proposed Ordinance No. 23-11187 supplements these camping provisions by addressing activities that, while not reaching the level of prohibited camping, still obstruct the use of public places.
The proposed ordinance is expected to have no direct fiscal consequences.
The motion to approve Ordinance No. 23-11187 on its first reading, which aims to prohibit the obstruction of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, as well as marked vehicular parking, was passed with a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Davis dissented.