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(A) Findings: The city council finds and declares that there has been an increase in criminal activity, particularly violent crime, in public parking lots as well as intimidation and harassment of citizens who are using those parking lots to conduct business with local merchants. The council further finds that the majority of these incidents are occurring in the evening hours after sunset.
The city council further finds that the primary purpose of municipal parking lots is to provide city residents with safe and convenient temporary public parking and to facilitate the daily flow of traffic in and around local businesses.
The city council further finds that there is a need to abate the congregation of individuals who gather in the municipal parking lots for no apparent purpose. Such gatherings engender the commission or threatened commission of public offenses and interfere with the primary use of the public parking lots. Such activities constitute a continuing public nuisance which adversely affects public health, safety and welfare of city residents and hinders commercial activity and traffic flow in parking lots, commercial shopping centers and other public places.
(B) Remaining, Staying And Loitering In Municipal Parking Lots:
1. It shall be unlawful for any person to remain, stay or loiter in any municipal parking lot between sunset and sunrise of the next day, after first having been ordered to leave by a peace officer.
2. For purposes of this section only, "loiter" shall mean:
(a) To delay, linger or idle in any municipal parking lot without any intent to conduct lawful business with the adjacent businesses.
(b) To remain in any municipal parking lot for a period of time longer than reasonably necessary to conduct business with the adjacent businesses.
(c) To remain in a motor vehicle parked in any municipal lot when no occupant of the vehicle is conducting or intends to conduct business with the adjacent businesses.
(C) Obstructing And Intimidating Business Patrons: Any person, who while in a municipal parking lot, intentionally obstructs, intimidates, threatens or harasses another person who is using a municipal parking lot for the purpose of conducting business with the neighboring merchants and who then refuses to leave said parking lot after being requested to do so by the owner of said business or his agent or by a peace officer, is guilty of an infraction.
(D) Penalty/Punishment: A violation of this section shall constitute an infraction. The punishment for a violation of this section shall be a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00), nor more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) for a first violation, a fine not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) nor more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for a second violation of this section within one year, and a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for an additional violation of this section within one year.
(E) Severability: If any provision, clause, sentence, or paragraph of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions of this section which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this section are declared to be severable.
(F) Effective Date: This section is, for the reasons stated in the council's findings, declared to be necessary as an urgency measure to protect and preserve the public health, safety and welfare and is, therefore, effective immediately upon adoption by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the city council. (Ord. 1529, 12-12-1995)