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Legislation #: 070180 Introduction Date: 2/8/2007
Type: Ordinance Effective Date: none
Sponsor: COUNCILMEMBER FAIRFIELD
Title: Enacting a new section 50-8.5, Code of Ordinances, entitled “Panhandling and solicitation” prohibiting aggressive panhandling or soliciting; regulating panhandling in the 18th _ Vine District, Central Business District, Country Club Plaza, Westport Shopping District and the Zona Rosa Shopping District by prohibiting panhandling or soliciting within 20 feet of the entrance to any office or office building, commercial establishment engaged in the sale of goods or services, bank, credit union or other financial institution, single or multi-family residence or residential complex, outdoor dining area, outdoor restaurant, or outdoor café; prohibiting panhandling with 20 feet of an automated teller machine, or walk-up or drive-up teller window; prohibiting panhandling involving persons in motor vehicles unless issued a permit; prohibiting panhandling or soliciting on private property when by signs or other means it is indicated solicitors are unwelcome; prohibiting panhandling or soliciting in any public transportation vehicle or stand or stop; prohibiting panhandling or soliciting in groups of more than three; prohibiting the use of sound amplification generated, or caused to be generated, by gas-powered generators or batteries larger than twelve volts within the designated areas; and repealing section 50-151, Code of Ordinances.

Legislation History
DateMinutesDescription
2/8/2007 Filed by the Clerk's office
2/8/2007 Referred to Planning, Zoning & Economic Development Committee
2/14/2007 Hold On Agenda (2/28/2007)
2/28/2007 Hold On Agenda (3/14/2007)
3/14/2007 Hold On Agenda (3/21/2007)
3/21/2007 Hold On Agenda (3/28/2007)
3/28/2007 Advance and Do Pass as a Committee Substitute, Debate
3/29/2007 Passed as Substituted

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COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR ORDINANCE NO. 070180

 

Enacting a new section 50-8.5, Code of Ordinances, entitled Panhandling and solicitation prohibiting aggressive panhandling or soliciting; regulating panhandling in the 18th & Vine District, Central Business District, Country Club Plaza, Westport Shopping District and the Zona Rosa Shopping District by prohibiting panhandling or soliciting within 20 feet of the entrance to any office or office building, commercial establishment engaged in the sale of goods or services, bank, credit union or other financial institution, single or multi-family residence or residential complex, outdoor dining area, outdoor restaurant, or outdoor caf; prohibiting panhandling with 20 feet of an automated teller machine, or walk-up or drive-up teller window; prohibiting panhandling involving persons in motor vehicles unless issued a permit; prohibiting panhandling or soliciting on private property when by signs or other means it is indicated solicitors are unwelcome; prohibiting panhandling or soliciting in any public transportation vehicle or stand or stop; prohibiting panhandling or soliciting in groups of more than three; prohibiting the use of sound amplification generated, or caused to be generated, by gas-powered generators or batteries larger than twelve volts within the designated areas; and repealing section 50-151, Code of Ordinances.

 

WHEREAS, it is the intent of the Council in enacting this section to improve the quality of life, to maintain and further expand the economic vitality of the City and to protect the safety of the general public by imposing reasonable manner, time and place restrictions on panhandling while respecting the constitutional rights of all citizens.

 

WHEREAS, to effectively address the problems created by panhandling using the most narrow means possible, the goal of this ordinance is to control panhandling in certain areas of the City where the specific characteristics and uniqueness of those areas create situations where panhandling is especially detrimental and deprives citizens, tourists and businesses of a safe and vital environment in which to live, work or visit.

 

WHEREAS, the Country Club Plaza is a historic section of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, that is a destination for residents and visitors to the City. The Country Club Plaza attracts millions of visitors each year. The hotels, restaurants and shopping opportunities in the Country Club Plaza provide significant tax revenue for the City of Kansas City and are a part of its economic base. The vitality of the Country Club Plaza is integral to the continued economic success of the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

 

WHEREAS, the Westport Shopping District is a historic section of the City of Kansas City, Missouri that is a destination for residents and visitors to the City. The vitality of the Westport Shopping District is integral to the continued economic success of the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

 

WHEREAS, the City of Kansas City, Missouri has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the Central Business District of downtown Kansas City. Given the Citys investment, the prosperity of this area is integral to the continued economic success of the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

 

WHERAS, the Zona Rosa Shopping District is a destination for residents and visitors to the City. The vitality of the Zona Rosa Shopping District is integral to the continued economic success of the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

 

WHERAS, the 18th & Vine District is a destination for residents and visitors to the City. The vitality of the 18th & Vine District is integral to the continued economic success of the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

 

WHEREAS, the quality of life of the general public of the City is significantly disturbed and disrupted by an increase in panhandling within the 18th & Vine District Area, Central Business District Area, Country Club Plaza Area, Westport Shopping District Area, or Zona Rosa Shopping District Area. Panhandling contributes not only to the loss of access to and enjoyment of public places, but also to an enhanced sense of fear, intimidation, nuisance and disorder among the general population.

 

WHEREAS, the economic vitality of the City is adversely affected by panhandling as it damages otherwise positive experiences of the general public and tourists who are returning to visit or shop in the 18th & Vine District Area, Central Business District Area, Country Club Plaza Area, Westport Shopping District Area, or Zona Rosa Shopping District Area and if panhandling continues, the general public and tourists will not return. Considering that the economic vitality of the City is significantly dependent on the support of the public, tourists and businesses for the revitalization and continued liveliness within the Districts described in this ordinance and that each of these areas is a high priority in the Citys plan to expand the economic base of Kansas City by attracting new investment and creating an attractive infrastructure to encourage quality development, the proliferation of panhandling will derail the economic success of these areas.

 

WHEREAS, the City has a responsibility to provide citizens with a safe, pleasant environment in which to enjoy some of the Citys greatest assets, such as the 18th & Vine District Area, Central Business District Area, Country Club Plaza Area, Westport Shopping District Area, or Zona Rosa Shopping District Area. The safety of the public is threatened by the presence of panhandlers. Additionally, the presence of panhandlers soliciting money from persons traveling in motor vehicles on public rights of way in any area of the City creates a significant health and safety concern, not only for motorists, but also to panhandlers themselves. 

 

WHEREAS, the restrictions on panhandling in this section are in areas where citizens are more likely to be vulnerable to harassment and intimidation and where incidences of panhandling have the greatest impact on the health and safety of persons within the designated areas and where incidences of panhandling have the greatest impact on commerce, tourism and the attainment of the Citys goals set forth elsewhere in this ordinance.

 

WHEREAS, the solicitation of people in places where it is impossible or difficult for them to exercise their own right to decline to listen or to avoid solicitation from panhandlers is abusive and dangerous. Such places include motor vehicles, indoor and outdoor dining areas, crowded sidewalks, parking lots and structures, and in the vicinity of an entrance to a residence or a commercial or public facility.  Restricting panhandling in such places will provide a balance between the rights of panhandlers and the rights of persons who wish to decline or avoid the panhandling and will help avoid or diminish the threat of violence in such unwarranted and unavoidable confrontations and provide for the safety and security of the commuting public, tourists, and those citizens wishing to use public places and commercial facilities.

 

WHEREAS, the use of gas and battery powered sound amplification devices on crowded public sidewalks within the 18th & Vine District Area, Central Business District Area, Country Club Plaza Area, Westport Shopping District Area, or Zona Rosa Shopping District Area presents a significant public health and safety issue.

 

WHEREAS, this ordinance is timely and appropriate because current laws and city regulations are insufficient to address the aforementioned problems. The restrictions contained herein are neither over broad nor vague and are narrowly tailored to serve a substantial government interest.  In enacting this section, the Council recognizes the availability of community service and other sentencing alternatives that may be appropriate remedies for violations of this ordinance.  The goal of this section is to protect citizens from the fear, harassment and intimidation accompanying panhandling, which has become an unwelcome, overwhelming and dangerous presence in certain parts of the City and to protect citizens from certain dangerous devices that, when used in a public street or sidewalk, pose a significant health and safety concern; NOW, THEREFORE,

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY:

 

Section 1. That a new section 50-8.5, Code of Ordinances, entitled Prohibitions in certain areas is enacted to read as follows:

 

Sec. 50-8.5. Prohibitions in certain areas.

 

(a) Purpose.  The purpose of this section is to regulate and punish acts of aggressive panhandling or solicitation and acts of panhandling or solicitation that occur at locations or under circumstances specified herein. The purpose of this section is not to punish the status or condition of any person. Regulation is required because aggressive panhandling anywhere in the city contributes to the loss of access to and enjoyment of public places and creates a sense of fear, intimidation and disorder. Regulation is further required because panhandling in certain areas threatens the economic vitality of those areas, impairing the citys long term goals of attracting citizens, businesses and tourist to these certain areas and, consequently, the city overall. The city has substantial interests in the protection of public safety, the use of public transportation, the safe and unobstructed flow of traffic on its public streets, the preservation of the safe use of public areas, protecting the aesthetics of historic areas within the city, protecting the citys investment in certain areas, protecting tourism and protecting the citys economy. The regulations in this section further these substantial interests. This section is not intended to proscribe any demand for payment for services rendered or goods delivered. Nor is this section intended to prohibit acts authorized as an exercise of a person's constitutional right to legally picket, protest or speak. 

 

(b) Definitions.

 

(1) 18th & Vine District Area means the area shown on Exhibit A attached hereto and generally described as the area between 17th Terrace (John Buck ONeil Way) on the north, Woodland on the east, 19th Street on the south, and The Paseo on the west.

 

(2) Aggressive manner means: 

 

a.   Threatening approaches.  Approaching the person being solicited in a manner that: 

 

1.    Is intended to or is likely to cause a reasonable person to fear imminent bodily harm or the commission of a criminal act upon property in the person's possession; or

 

2.    Is intended to or is likely to intimidate the person being solicited into responding affirmatively to the solicitation.

 

b.    Following.  By following behind, ahead or alongside a person who walks or drives away from the person soliciting or who gives notice or demonstrates verbally or physically that such solicitation is offensive, unwelcome or that the solicitation should cease.

 

c.    Physical contact.  Intentionally or recklessly making any physical contact with or touching another person in the course of the solicitation, or approaching within an arm's length of the person, except with the persons consent. 

 

d.    Continuing to solicit.  Continuing to solicit a person after the person has made a negative response.

 

e.    Verbal threats.  Intentionally or recklessly using words: 

 

1.    Intended to or likely to cause a reasonable person to fear imminent bodily harm or the commission of a criminal act upon property in the persons possession; or

 

2.    Words likely to intimidate the person into responding affirmatively to the solicitation.

 

f.    Blocking sidewalks or streets.  Intentionally or recklessly blocking the safe or free passage of the person being solicited or requiring the person, or the driver of a vehicle, to take evasive action to avoid physical contact with the person making the solicitation. 

 

(3) Automated teller machine is a device, linked to a financial institution's account records, which is able to carry out transactions, including, but not limited to: Account transfers, deposits, cash withdrawals, balance inquiries and mortgage and loan payments. 

 

(4) Automated teller machine facility is the area comprised of one or more automatic teller machines, and any adjacent space, which is made available to banking customers.

 

(5) Central Business District Area means the area shown on Exhibit B attached hereto and commonly known as the Central Business District of Kansas City Missouri,

 

(6) Country Club Plaza Area means the area shown on Exhibit C attached hereto and generally described as the area between 46th Terrace on the north, J.C. Nichols Parkway on the east, Ward Parkway on the south and Jefferson on the east, shall be known as the Country Club Plaza Area. The Country Club Plaza Area includes the public areas on both sides of the named boundaries.

 

(7) Intimidate means to engage in conduct which would make a reasonable person feel threatened or fearful of harm to the person's personal safety or property. 

 

(8) Panhandling means any verbal or non-verbal solicitation made in person upon any public street, sidewalk, alley, park or other public place, in which a person requests an immediate donation of any item of value, monetary or otherwise, from another person, and includes but is not limited to seeking donations of any item of value, monetary or otherwise:

 

a. By a spoken, written or printed appeal or for music, singing, or other street performance; and,

 

b. Where the person being solicited receives an item of little or no monetary value in exchange for a donation, under circumstances where a reasonable person would understand that the transaction is in substance a donation.

 

(9) Passive manner means standing, sitting or performing music, singing or other street performance with a sign or other indication that a donation is being sought, without any vocal request other than in response to an inquiry by another person.

 

(10) Public area is an area open to use by the general public, including, but not limited to, alleys, bridges, buildings, driveways, parking lots, parks, plazas, sidewalks and streets open to the general public, and the doorways and entrances to buildings and dwellings, and the grounds enclosing them. 

 

(11) Public safety officer means any uniformed law enforcement officer or firefighter.

 

(12) To panhandle means to engage in any act of panhandling.

 

(13) To solicit includes, without limitation, the spoken, written or printed word or such other acts or bodily gestures as are conducted in furtherance of the purposes of soliciting or asking for any item of value, monetary or otherwise. 

 

(14) Westport Shopping District Area means the area shown on Exhibit D attached hereto and generally described as the area between 39th Street on the north, Main Street on the east, 43rd Street on the South and Southwest Trafficway on the West, shall be known as the Westport Shopping District Area. The Westport Shopping District Area includes the public areas on both sides of the named boundaries.

 

(15) Zona Rosa Shopping District Area means the area shown on Exhibit E attached hereto and generally described as the area between Missouri Highway 152 on the north, Interstate 29 on the east, to Barry Road, to Northwest Prairie View Road, to Northwest 86th Terrace and to North Congress Avenue on the west, shall be known as the Zona Rosa Shopping District Area. The Zona Rosa Shopping District Area includes the public areas on both sides of the named boundaries.

 

(c) Prohibitions.

 

(1) Aggressive Panhandling.  It shall be unlawful for any person to panhandle, or to solicit the sale of goods or services, in an aggressive manner in a public area. 

 

(2) Automated teller machine.  It shall be unlawful to panhandle, or to solicit the sale of goods or services, within twenty (20) feet, in any direction, of an automated teller machine or automated teller machine facility, or within twenty (20) feet, in any direction, from any entrance or exit to a building containing an automated teller machine or automated teller machine facility. 

 

(3) Motor Vehicles and streets. Except as otherwise provided in this section, it shall be unlawful to engage in any act of panhandling or any solicitation of the sale of goods or services, at any time of any day:

 

a. In exchange for cleaning motor vehicle windows while the vehicle is in traffic on or entering any street, a street intersection, alley or other public passageway; and/or,

 

b. In exchange for protecting, watching, washing, cleaning, repairing, or painting a motor vehicle or bicycle while it is parked on a public street.

 

c. Within five (5) feet of a curb or edge or a street.

 

d. Involving any operator or occupant of a motor vehicle that is in traffic on or entering any street, street intersection, alley or other public passageway; or involving any operator or occupant of a motor vehicle on a public street in exchange for blocking, occupying or reserving a public parking space, or directing the operator or occupant to a public parking space unless issued a permit and pursuant to the following restrictions:

 

1. Persons and organizations may engage in public solicitations, including the use of sound amplification devices, if the person or organization meets all of the following conditions:

 

A. The person or organization applies for and is granted a permit from the City to conduct its solicitation activities based upon the requirements of this section;

 

B.                 Solicitations may only be conducted at intersections controlled by electronic signal lights or by stop signs;

 

C.                 No person or organization may conduct its solicitation activities for a period of more than six (6) calendar days and on no more than two (2) occasions in any calendar year;

 

D.                 The person or organization must provide insurance and/or agree to indemnify the City in the amount of at least $1 million for any liability arising out of the fund raising activities;

 

E.                  Appropriate signage visible to passing motorists announcing the solicitation area must be visible from a distance of at least 300 feet from the solicitation site, and if such solicitation occurs after the hour of 5:00 pm. additional adequate lighting must be provided such that the solicitation site is visible to passing motorists from a distance of at least 300 feet;

 

F.                  All individuals participating in such solicitation activities must be at least eighteen (18) years of age; and

 

G.                 The person or organization engaged in the solicitation must arrange to have a uniformed public safety officer at each solicitation site.

 

(4) Panhandling in certain areas. Within the 18th & Vine District Area, Central Business District Area, Country Club Plaza Area, Westport Shopping District Area, or Zona Rosa Shopping District Area, it shall be unlawful to panhandle. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it shall not be unlawful to panhandle in a passive manner, unless such passive panhandling or passive solicitation is conducted within twenty (20) feet, in any direction, from any entrance or exit to any: (i) office or office building; (ii) commercial establishment engaged in the sale of goods or services; (iii) bank, credit union or other financial institution; (iv) single or multi-family residence or residential complex, or (v) within twenty (20) feet of any outdoor dining area, outdoor restaurant, or outdoor caf.

 

(5) Private property.  It shall be unlawful to panhandle, or to solicit the sale of goods or services on private property if the owner, tenant or lawful occupant has asked the person not to solicit on the property, or has posted a sign clearly indicating that solicitations are not welcome on the property.

 

(6) Public transportation.  It shall be unlawful to panhandle, or to solicit the sale of goods or services in any public transportation vehicle or from an area marked and designated as a place to wait for a bus, train, or any other public transportation vehicle that is operated on a scheduled route with passengers paying fares on an individual basis. 

 

(7) Sound amplification devices. Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall use any gas powered device, or any device using batteries larger than twelve volts, for the purpose amplifying speech or sound, or facilitating the amplification of speech or sound, in or upon any public area within the 18th & Vine District Area, Central Business District Area, Country Club Plaza Area, Westport Shopping District Area, or Zona Rosa Shopping District Area. Community events, when authorized by the appropriate governmental entity, shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.

 

(8)    Walk-up or drive-up teller window.  It shall be unlawful to panhandle, or to solicit the sale of goods or services, if the person making the solicitation knows or reasonably should know that the solicitation is occurring within twenty (20) feet in any direction from a walk-up or drive-up teller window located on the exterior of the building of a financial institution which is made available to its banking customers. 

 

(9) Panhandling in groups. It shall be unlawful to panhandle in groups of more than three (3) persons.

 

(d) Measurement. For purposes of Section (c)(2), (c)(4) and (c)(8) hereof, measurement shall be made in a straight line, without regard to intervening structures or objects, from the nearest point at which an unlawful act is conducted to the nearest portion of any doorway, entrance, outdoor dining area, outdoor restaurant, outdoor caf, automatic teller machine or automatic teller facility.

 

Section 2. Section 50-151, Code of Ordinances, entitled Aggressive begging/begging at specified locations, is hereby repealed.

 

________________________________________

 

Approved as to form:

 

 

______________________________

William Geary

Assistant City Attorney