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(A) The city council finds that aggressive panhandling for money or anything of value directed at residents of and visitors to the city threatens public safety, impairs commercial activity, and harms public welfare. Aggressive panhandling interferes with the public’s inherent right to use and enjoy public places without fear of intimidation caused by those persons who harass others by asking for money or goods. Such conduct can undermine economic vitality by deterring patrons and thus reduces shopping activity within the city. Such conduct can discourage visitors and prospective customers from coming to the city for business, shopping, or recreation because it creates an atmosphere of discomfort and fear.
(B) Further, the intent of the city council in enacting this article is to protect the public safety of the city’s residents and visitors against intrusive solicitation by imposing reasonable restrictions while respecting the constitutional right of free speech for all residents. The city council finds that solicitation in certain locations throughout the city is extremely disturbing and dangerous to residents, visitors, and businesses, and will contribute to the loss of access to public places due to fear and intimidation. Solicitation specific locations near banks, automatic teller machines, and traffic intersections is especially threatening and dangerous to both persons and property. The city council further finds that solicitation from people in public places where they are “captive” restricts residents’ ability to decline or avoid solicitation. These public places include: public transportation vehicles and stops, banks, public parking lots or structures, and indoor/outdoor dining areas. The restrictions contained herein are narrowly tailored to serve a substantial governmental interest. The city seeks to protect citizens from fear, intimidation, and dangerous conditions that accompany certain kinds of solicitation that occurs in specific locations within the city.
(Ord. No. 2966)