Curbs on panhandling are proposed

A PROPOSED ordinance placing restrictions on “aggressive” and “unsafe” solicitations goes before the Westminster City Council on Wednesday.

A proposed ordinance aimed at curbing “aggressive” and unsafe solicitation will go before the Westminster City Council when it meets on Wednesday. The council convenes in its chambers at 8200 Westminster Blvd. at 7 p.m.

The ordinance would seek to address issues such as people soliciting money – what might be called panhandling – near an automatic teller machine or outside a bank or credit union. “Interactions like these create a significant opportunity for confrontation that can quickly escalate into an unsafe situation,” according to a staff report written by Assistant City Manager Chet Simmons.

Specifically, the new law would prohibit soliciting within 15 feet of an ATM or the entrance to a financial institution. It would also ban people from soliciting from, or following closely, a person after they had said “no” to a request for money.

Additionally, the ordinance would prohibit using a center median on certain heavily-traveled streets as a location for solicitation of money. Those streets designated in the ordinance would be Beach Boulevard, Magnolia Street, Brookhurst Street, Goldenwest Street, Garden Grove Boulevard, Westminster Boulevard, Bolsa Avenue and Edinger Avenue.

Also, people walking onto the street to solicit those in a vehicle may not do so unless that vehicle is parked.


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