Today, the Santa Barbara City Council will discuss the Sit-Lie Panhandling Ordinance. According to the Agenda, “Councilmembers Hotchkiss and Rowse (are) requesting that Council receive a report regarding specific proposals to update the Sit-Lie and Abusive Panhandling Ordinance and consider enacting a new ordinance prohibiting urination and defecation in public.
The municipal code currently prohibits sitting or lying down on public sidewalks and paseos along the first thirteen blocks of State Street during the hours between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. The recommendation is to expand the hours of prohibition and add a prohibition on sitting, standing or lying down upon any planting, railing or statue place or installed on a public sidewalk. The municipal code currently prohibits abusive panhandling anywhere in the City. “Active” panhandling—meaning a verbal request seeking a donation of money or other items of value is prohibited in certain locations only, ie: within 25 feet of an ATM. The recommendation is to increase that to 80 feet and expand the ban on solicitation to buses and other transportation vehicles.
Finally, neither the municipal code, nor state law, directly prohibits urinating or defecating in public. The recommendation is to add a prohibition on urinating or defecating in public in order to facility enforcement gainst this “nuisance” behavior.