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Municipalities contemplating county’s pedestrian and car security legislation

MORGANTOWN — Of the 4 municipalities within the Larger Morgantown Space, two — Morgantown and Granville — have already got particular ordinances on the books pertaining to soliciting on or close to roadways. 

The Dominion Put up reached out to representatives of all  4 in gentle of Wednesday’s passage of the county’s new Ordinance Regulating Pedestrian and Car Security. 

“This solely results Monongalia County. It doesn’t have an effect on municipalities. Municipalities can have their very own ordinance or go variations of this one,” Commissioner Sean Sikora mentioned previous to Wednesday’s vote.  

Up to now, at the very least two municipalities are contemplating following the county’s lead. 

“Will probably be an agenda merchandise. Clearly, I can’t affirm what we’ll do, however for me, I might suppose we might wish to stay consistent with the county for consistency,” Star Metropolis Mayor Sharon Doyle defined. 

Westover Mayor Bob Lucci mentioned he believes Westover may even look into the ordinance, however he’s but to take it up with members of metropolis council. 

The county ordinance consists of quite a lot of prohibitions for each pedestrians inside a right-of-way and car passengers that will make it criminal activity for pedestrians to face, sit or bodily stay inside a roadway for any cause other than crossing the street. It additionally makes it unlawful for each pedestrians and car passengers to work together and go or trade gadgets. 

The legislation’s origins return to a Might assembly between representatives of the varied municipalities and their police departments  and Fee President Tom Bloom and representatives of the sheriff’s division. 

Whereas the preliminary  dialog centered round making a countywide panhandling ordinance, references to panhandling had been  nixed early within the course of upon the recommendation of authorized counsel over issues about constitutionality. 

Even so, Mountain State Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia have introduced publicly their intent  to problem the legislation in court docket.  

“It’s a security situation and it must be written as a security situation. I imagine it’s. However definitely they’ll do this if they need,” Lucci mentioned of a possible authorized problem. 

Doyle agreed. 

“I’ve heard rather a lot about it being an assault on the homeless. How does anyone know if persons are homeless? That appears to be a degree that comes up, however our concern as a municipality is security alongside the roadways, not figuring out if a person is homeless or not,” she mentioned. 

Westover and Star Metropolis each have ordinances prohibiting door-to-door soliciting and hitchhiking; they don’t seem to have legal guidelines pertaining particularly to soliciting on or close to roads. 

Each Morgantown and Granville do. 

Each municipalities have Sec. 371.10, which states, “It shall be illegal for any individual, whereas standing in any portion of a public right-of-way to solicit enterprise, or contributions of cash or different property, from any individual touring in a car inside a public right-of-way; offered, nonetheless, that the foregoing prohibition shall not apply to providers rendered in reference to emergency repairs requested by the operator or passengers of such car.” 

As well as, Morgantown has Sec. 509.02 pertaining to “aggressive solicitation” which speaks not solely to the way through which a person or group makes requests, however the place. 

For instance, it’s unlawful to ask for cash inside 15 toes of an ATM machine or financial institution entrance. 

Solicitation on personal property — Suncrest Towne Centre, College City Centre, Pierpont Centre – doesn’t fall beneath the county ordinance and have to be reported by somebody representing the property.  

Morgantown Communications Director Drew Bailey mentioned there have been inside discussions going down concerning the county’s ordinance however no rapid feedback concerning the town’s plans. 

The Dominion Put up didn’t hear from representatives of Granville in time for this report.