The controversial Loitering ordinance in Nevada City that has caused headaches for business owners and council members, not to mention citizens opposed to such an ordinance, seems to have found a compromise that all sides can find acceptable. The issue began with some people blocking sidewalks and doorways that may discourage shoppers from walking down streets or entering businesses. The solution was a behavior ordinance that carried a misdemeanor charge after a first warning. The heavy handed solution was followed by a successful signature collection to repeal the ordinance. The city was back at square one until local attorney Frank Bloksberg spoke up at Wednesday night’s city council meeting to offer a simple suggestion.
“What I did was simply take an existing law, penal code section 647 C, which says you can’t block the way, it’s a misdemeanor, I just added on to the front of it a police warning and said, ‘let’s call this an infraction’ that way the police could tell them to quit blocking the way and if they don’t, they could give them a ticket. It’s an extremely reasonable approach. It’s what I call 647 C lite.”
The council has turned the task over to the city attorney to look into the change and councilman Duane Strawser says he would like to see this come back to the council at the next meeting or December 14th at the latest to be voted on.