Monday, August 08, 2011

NevCity Loitering ordinance coming up Wed., says Stephen Greenberg

I talked to Stephen Greenberg (an attorney, as y'all presumably know) about the resurrected anti-loitering ordinance effort this weekend (as did Jeff Pelline on or before last Friday; his post & comments has links to relevant resources, e.g. the agenda packet), and Stephen filled me in on a few additional points:

Note: this is from recollection, & I haven't verified any of it since my focus is elsewhere. If anyone sees errors please feel free to point them out, in comments or email.
  • This is basically the same effort as was made in the late 1990s.

  • After that ordinance was struck down, a committee - made up of (only?) Nevada City business owners, some quite conservative - studied the issue and put out a ~30-page report, the gist of which was that the solution already existed, in the form of existing laws. (Stephen's letter in the agenda packet quotes extensively from that report, and reproduces its recommendations verbatim.)

  • So why is the issue coming up again? Several things are different now. The problem area has shifted - was previously N.Pine&Spring, now it's Commercial St. (where there's greater density of businesses - Ed.). The bad economy means stores are hurting. Plus the loiterers are mostly not our community's kids anymore, it's more homeless people.

  • Enforcement would presumably be selective, aimed at perceived undesirables. (Perceptions can be deceiving, as any Hospitality House volunteer can tell you. - Ed.)
On Facebook, see We don't need no stinkin' anti-loitering law in Nevada City
(if you can; not sure what its access permissions are)


Anna Haynes said...

Former Mayor Steve Cottrell - who was on the Chamber committee that studied the issue back in 1999 - has weighed in (link), incl. saying the problem was a lot worse then than now.

Anna Haynes said...

Stephen Greenberg has weighed in also (link)

Anna Haynes said...

Update: Stephen Greenberg said it did pass, with 1 holdout (Bergman).