City Council Expected to Amend Aggressive Panhandling Ordinance

Panhandling directed at motorists will no longer be offiical part of city's existing ordinance.

The City Council is expected to ratify an amended aggressive panhandling ordinance tonight. 

The amendments are on the council's consent agenda and follow a public hearing at the previous City Council meeting Nov. 7.

Under the new amendment, panhandling from motorists in public places will no longer be prohibited. 

However, it will still be illegal for solicitors to be "verbally abusive or threatening," or "block anyone's path or persistently follow people," explained Dee Dee Gunther, city police spokesperson.

"It's important to know that only one section of our aggressive panhandling ordinance is being repealed..." Gunther said. "Depending on the situation, someone panhandling from motorists might still be cited if they're obstructing traffic or breaking other laws." 

In addition, the ordinance still prohibits panhandling near the entrances to buildings or close to ATMs, from people seated in restaurants and after hours in the dark, Gunther said.

The newfound council attention to the ordinance attention by the council was prompted by the City Attorney's office citing a recent Federal 9th Circuit Court decision regarding a similar ordinance in the city of Redondo Beach. The court's jurisdiction oversees Roseville as well. 

The court decided that city's law, prohibiting panhandling beside roadways and in the public right-of-way, was a violation of free speech and expression. A city appeal to the Supreme Court was denied.

The City Council meets tonight at 7 p.m., in Council Chambers in the Civic Center, 311 Vernon St. 

Other items on the agenda include a public hearing and discussion regarding parking shortages at the Palisades Plaza located on the Southeast corner of North Sunrise Avenue and East Roseville Parkway. Tenants have had issues with parking shortages at the site and striping. The parking lot is currently short 13 spaces. 


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