City Council Repeals Part of Panhandling Ordinance
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The Fort Collins City Council on Friday repealed part of the City’s panhandling ordinance, leaving in place certain provisions that involve aggressive behavior.
In its action Friday, City Council removed seven of 11 provisions in City Code that address certain kinds of aggressive panhandling. The emergency revised ordinance is effective immediately.
The provisions of the Ordinance remaining in place prohibit:
- Intimidating, threatening, coercive or obscene panhandling conduct that causes the subject to reasonably fear for his or her safety;
- Panhandling using fighting words;
- Knowingly touching or grabbing the person solicited; and
- Panhandling in a manner that obstructs the passage or the person or requires him or her to take evasive action to avoid physical contact.
City staff will move forward to evaluate policy options and ways to address panhandling in light of the legal issues and will be actively seeking public input as part of this process. Once this further review has been completed, staff will work with the City’s attorneys to develop and present for Council consideration updated provisions related to panhandling conduct.
On February 10, 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) filed a class action lawsuit in federal district court against the City over its panhandling ordinance. In light of the public interest that has been expressed in this case, the City of Fort Collins offers weekly updates, when available, at https://www.fcgov.com/cityattorney/landow-status.php regarding the current status of the case. In addition, that page provides links to the pleadings and other documents that have been filed in the Federal District Court case.