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Detailed info on New Santa Cruz Downtown Ordinances

by HUFF (info [at]
Even less "public" space for peaceable assembly, performance, and social interaction. The move along law extended to benches. 14' "sitting" exclusion zones around benches. Expansion of exclusion zones to "public art", "directories", and "trash compactors" - which means many more of these items are on the way. More "stay away" orders. Increased police presence downtown via "non-general fund" revenues. "Public restrooms" in (three) private businesses (provided with subsidies). “Real Change, Not Spare Change” (again). Three unanswered citations = warrant. More "tools" for law enforcement. A City Council that is convinced that regulation is the solution, rather than communication and co-operation and community building.
Please read the attachment for details (in Microsoft Word format). Note: we do not have a copy of the actual suggested ordinance revisions yet, just the staff report's summary of them. They are likely to be posted to the City Council web site shortly (must be posted within a minimum of 72 hours of the meeting itself).

Make sure everyone you know voices their opinion to the City Council (contact info immediately below). Tell your fellow activists, friends, family, co-workers, and anyone else you deal with on a regular basis to contact the City Council about this, and why it is important. You're not likely to get a substantive response, but the more they hear from the public, the more cautious they'll be about rubber-stamping what Lynn Robinson (possibly the most "conservative" member of the City Council), Ryan Coonerty (who will not be able to run again four years from now), and Mayor Cynthia Mathews (who jointly campaigned with Mike Rotkin the last two times around, and will not be able to run again two years from now) are recommending - they're already well aware that they're going to face substantial resistance.

Turnout at the actual meeting is important... while the City Council is likely to go ahead, regardless of public input, the degree to which they kowtow to the reactionary interests pushing this proposal: 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 27th in the City Council Chambers (809 Center Street in downtown Santa Cruz). It also doesn't hurt to send email and leave voice messages in advance. It is very likely that City Staff will be tallying public communications, in favor, and not,

EMAIL: citycouncil [at]
VOICEMAIL (messages): 831-420-5020

If you run into a current or former City Council member (since they have the ears of those in power), make sure you let them know what you think. Good and bad.


On Tuesday evening, the Santa Cruz City Council will consider
recommendations by Mayor Cynthia Mathews and Councilmembers Lynn
Robinson and Ryan Coonerty to make Santa Cruz’ downtown and beach area
more safe, vibrant and welcoming for community members and visitors
alike. This effort will improve and expand existing ordinances in
order to make them consistent, understandable and enforceable; other
programs will address specific issues. The proposal includes:

• Revise existing ordinances for greater consistency and
enforceability. Make existing distances and definitions consistent for activities such as
aggressive panhandling. (Distances are not increased.)
• Add new protected areas around public art, directory signs, and trash compactors
• Add one hour limit on public benches, based on complaint.
• Add ordinance directing that three unanswered citations become a warrant, thus creating a meaningful consequence for chronic
• Direct City participation in a “Real Change, not Spare Change” program by the DTA.
• Authorize chronic inebriate program limiting alcohol sales.
• Work with District Attorney for stronger enforcement of new graffiti laws and stay-ways orders for chronic offenders
• Explore increased law enforcement presence through non-general fund revenue sources.
• Launch public rest room program in partnership with local businesses.

Full City Council Staff report attached.
§Staff report in PDF format.
by HUFF (info [at]
O.K. PDFs are allowed. Doc files are not.
Add Your Comments
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Mon, Feb 9, 2009 12:35PM
Robert Norse
Fri, Feb 6, 2009 8:32AM
Thu, Jan 29, 2009 6:01PM
Robert Norse
Thu, Jan 29, 2009 1:57PM
Wed, Jan 28, 2009 12:02PM
I was there too
Wed, Jan 28, 2009 9:58AM
Wed, Jan 28, 2009 8:56AM
Tue, Jan 27, 2009 1:37PM
Tue, Jan 27, 2009 1:06PM
is not needed
Tue, Jan 27, 2009 1:03PM
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