[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Fort Plain 7-15-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Village Board of the Village of Fort Plain makes the following findings:
There have been numerous citizen complaints directed to the Mayor and Trustees and other local officials concerning incidents of persons gathering in the public areas of the village without a legitimate reason for being there. Investigation of these complaints has resulted in the finding that in the places complained of large quantities of refuse and other litter have accumulated and damages have occurred. In addition, it has been recognized and reported that such gatherings have interferred with or discouraged citizens from legitimate utilization of these areas.
The complaints received and the investigations show that such gatherings very often are participated in by large groups of people and are associated with noise, yelling, often of an obscene nature, fighting and rowdiness, in addition to litter.
It has also been found that where this kind of gathering occurs, acts of vandalism have been found to occur and damage to public and private property has been sustained. The protection of the health, safety and welfare of the community requires action in the public interest to regulate such behavior.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- To stand, lounge, congregate or remain parked in a motor vehicle at a public place or place open to the public and to engage in any conduct prohibited under this chapter. "Loiter" also means to collect, gather, congregate or be a member of a group or of a crowd of people who are gathered together in any public place or place open to the public and to engage in any conduct prohibited under this chapter.
- A. Any place open to the public or any place to which the public is invited and in, on or around any privately owned place of business, private parking lot or private institution, including places of worship or any place of amusement and entertainment, whether or not a charge of admission or entry thereto is made. It includes the lobby, halls, corridors and areas open to the public of any store, office or apartment building, as well as parking lots or other vacant private property not owned by or under the control of the person charged with violating this chapter or, in the case of a minor, not owned by or under the control of such minor's parent or guardian.
- B. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary which may appear to be set forth in this chapter, enforcement of this chapter as it relates to places open to the public as defined herein shall be conditioned upon a request for such enforcement by the owner, lessee, tenant or agent of such place open to the public either personally delivered or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the attention of the Chief of Police of the Village of Fort Plain, and upon notice of such request being posted conspicuously in or about such place by the owner, lessee, tenant or agent thereof in a manner as is reasonably calculated to afford notice of the prohibition to ail interested parties. In addition to stating the name of the owner and a description of the property involved, the request shall include a certification stating that the provisions of this chapter relating to posting of notice have been complied with.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any public street, road or highway, alley, lane, sidewalk, crosswalk or other public way or any public park, playground, public building or grounds appurtenant thereto, school building or school grounds, public parking lot or any vacant lot.
It shall be unlawful for any person or group of persons to loiter at, on or in a public place or a place open to the public in such manner:
As to interfere with, impede or hinder the free passage of pedestrian or vehicular traffic;
As to interfere with, obstruct, harass, curse or threaten or do physical harm to another member or members of the public; or
That, by words, acts or other conduct, it is clear and there is a reasonable likelihood that such conduct shall result in a breach of the peace or disorderly conduct or to cause annoyance, inconvenience or alarm or to create a risk thereof.
It shall be unlawful for any person to loiter, as defined herein, at a public place or place open to the public and to fail to obey the direction of a uniformed police officer or the direction of a properly identified police officer not in uniform to move on, when not to obey such direction shall endanger the public peace and safety or otherwise interfere with or discourage other citizens from legitimate utilization of such place.
It shall be unlawful for any person to stand, loiter or congregate in any other place open to the public if the owner, lessee, tenant or agent of such place has posted a notice in such place as provided for in the definition of "place open to the public."
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both. Each day of continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation. For the purpose of conferring jurisdiction upon courts and judicial officers generally, violations of this chapter shall be deemed misdemeanors, and for such purpose only, all provisions of law relating to misdemeanors shall apply to such violations.