Chapter 3

Obstructions

ARTICLE A - Street Obstructions

7-3A-1: Obstructing Streets


Whoever remains standing, lying or sitting down on any of the sidewalks, streets, alleys or public places in such a manner as to obstruct or impede the free passage of pedestrians or public travel, after being requested to immediately move on by any police officer, City Clerk Licensing Enforcement Officer, or Code Enforcement Officer or any police officer, or who wilfully remains on the sidewalk in front of any dwelling house or place of business which abuts on any of the sidewalks in this City, in such manner as to obstruct the free passage of any other person into or out of such dwelling house or place of business, without the consent or against the will of the proprietor, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor; provided, that this section shall not prohibit the operation of a sidewalk cafe pursuant to a permit issued by the City Clerk or licensed under title 3, chapter 3 or 4 of this Code. (1952 Code § 9-10-01)

7-3A-2: Camping In Public Places


A. Prohibitions: It shall be unlawful for any person to use any of the streets, sidewalks, parks or public places as a camping place at any time, or to cause or permit any vehicle to remain in any of said places to the detriment of public travel or convenience; or to cause or permit any livestock of any description to be herded into any of said places during any hours of the day or night; provided, that this section shall not prohibit the operation of a sidewalk cafe pursuant to a permit issued by the City Clerk. The term "camp" or "camping" shall mean the use of public property as a temporary or permanent place of dwelling, lodging or residence, or as a living accommodation at any time between sunset and sunrise, or as a sojourn. Indicia of camping may include, but are not limited to, storage of personal belongings, using tents or other temporary structures for sleeping or storage of personal belongings, carrying on cooking activities or making any fire in an unauthorized area, or any of these activities in combination with one another or in combination with either sleeping or making preparations to sleep (including the laying down of bedding for the purpose of sleeping).


B. Enforcement: Law enforcement officers shall not enforce this camping section when the individual is on public property and there is no available overnight shelter. The term "available overnight shelter" is a public or private shelter, with an available overnight space, open to an individual or family unit experiencing homelessness, at no charge. If the individual cannot utilize the overnight shelter space due to voluntary actions, such as intoxication, drug use, unruly behavior or violation of shelter rules, the overnight shelter space shall still be considered available.


C. Exception: This section does not affect subsection 7-7A-5E or 7-7A-10A of this title, which do not prohibit sleeping in a public park during hours of operation. (Ord. 38-14, 9-23-2014)

7-3A-3: Penalty


Any person violating the provisions of this article shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, subject to penalty as provided in section 1-4-1 of this Code and, in addition, such persons shall be liable for damages to such street or streets by reason of violation of the provisions of this article, such damages to be recovered by the City before any court of competent jurisdiction. (1952 Code § 9-10-20; amd. 2019 Code)

ARTICLE B - Street And Parkway Obstructions

7-3B-1: Definitions


For the purposes of this article, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivation shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present include the future, words in the plural number include the singular, and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.

ENCROACH: The use, intrusion, enclosure or occupation of a street, sidewalk, parkway or the unused portion of a street.

OBSTRUCTION: Any obstacle or thing impeding, or inconveniencing or rendering dangerous, public travel upon and along a street, alley or sidewalk.

PARKWAY: That portion of public right-of-way situated between the curb line of any street and the property line of property abutting and adjoining any street. In the absence of a curb, the curb line of a street shall be deemed to be the edge of that portion of public right-of-way maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

PERSON: Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.

SIDEWALK: The portion of the parkway of a street set aside and intended for the use of pedestrians.

STREET: Highways, roads, alleys and bridges dedicated, purchased or otherwise acquired for the public, including the unimproved or unused portion thereof, maintained and open to use by the public. (1952 Code § 9-24-01)

7-3B-2: Obstructions


It shall be unlawful for any person, except as provided by this article, to:


A. Cause, create or maintain any encroachment or obstruction upon or within any street.


B. Place, install or maintain any object, substance or matter in lieu of trees, shrubs, bushes, grass or vegetation upon or within any street.


C. Erect or maintain poles, wires, pipes or structures upon or below the surface of any street.


D. Drive any vehicle or ride an animal upon any sidewalk or parkway. (1952 Code § 9-24-02)

7-3B-3: Property Abutting Street


Any owner or occupant of property abutting and adjoining any street may, upon and within the parkway of such street:


A. Improve, adorn or plant trees, shrubs, bushes, grass or vegetation; and


B. Place, install and maintain any object, substance or matter in lieu of trees, shrubs, bushes, grass or vegetation;

Provided, such owner or occupant shall first file an application for a permit with the City Forester, who shall have exclusive jurisdiction and supervision over any planting of trees, shrubs, bushes, grass or vegetation, or the installation and maintenance of objects, substances or matters in lieu of trees, shrubs, bushes, grass or vegetation upon and within the parkway of a street. All permits as herein provided shall comply with the provisions of this article, as well as the provisions of chapter 2 of this title and section 6-4-2 of this Code. In the event an application for a permit is rejected by the City Forester, the owner or occupant of property may, within ten (10) days following the date of the rejection of such application by the City Forester, appeal to the Council. (1952 Code § 9-24-03)

7-3B-4: Illegal Obstructions


If any encroachment or obstruction has been placed, installed, erected and maintained, or a use made and maintained for private or business purposes, upon a street, sidewalk or parkway without prior permission and consent, the Director of the Department of Public Works shall in writing require immediate removal thereof. If such encroachment or obstruction or use has not been removed, or commenced to be removed, and diligently prosecuted, prior to the expiration of ten (10) days from such notification, by the person who caused or owns or controls the encroachment or obstruction or use, the Director must commence proper action to abate the same as a nuisance, and if judgment is recovered in favor of the City, the owner, occupant or person maintaining such nuisance may, in addition to having the same abated, be charged ten dollars ($10.00) for every day such nuisance remained after notice as well as all costs. (1952 Code § 9-24-04)

7-3B-5: Application Filed


A person seeking to encroach, obstruct or use a street, sidewalk or parkway, including the unused or unimproved portion of a street, must file an application with the Director of Public Works, who shall present the same for the approval or disapproval of the Council. The application shall include plans and specifications of sufficient clarity to indicate the nature and extent of the proposed obstruction, encroachment or use of the street, sidewalk or parkway by which to demonstrate that relevant provisions of this Code and other relevant laws, ordinances, rules, regulations and orders will be complied with, the legal description of the property abutting the street, sidewalk or parkway upon or within which such encroachment, obstruction or the use shall be or is intended to be performed, and any other additional information necessary to make a fair determination of whether to allow or permit the encroachment, obstruction or use. (1952 Code § 9-24-05)

7-3B-6: Conditions Of Permit Granted


A permit granted pursuant to the provisions of section 7-3B-5 of this article shall be subject to the following conditions:


A. Rights Limited: The person to whom a permit is given or granted shall acquire no property or contractual right in and to the street, sidewalk or parkway and such permit may be revoked whenever the Council deems it necessary as a proper police measure.


B. Compliance: The person to whom a permit is issued shall comply with all laws, orders and regulations of the City and with any direction of any public officer, pursuant to law, which shall impose any duty upon such person, and such person shall at his sole expense obtain all licenses or permits which may be required.


C. Insurance: The person to whom a permit is issued shall indemnify and save and hold harmless the City from and for any and all losses, claims, actions and judgments for damages or injuries to persons or property and losses and expenses caused or incurred by the permittee, its servants, agents, employees, guests and business invitees. In addition, the permittee shall maintain and keep in full force and effect liability insurance in which the City shall be named as a named insured in amounts established by the Council. The limits of insurance shall not be deemed a limitation of the permittee's covenant to indemnify and save and hold harmless the City.


D. Replacement, Restoration: Upon revocation of any permit given or granted, or in case of any disturbance or damage to pavement, sidewalk or other surface or structure, permittee shall, at its own expense, and in the manner required by the City, replace and restore such in a condition acceptable to the City. (1952 Code § 9-24-06)