Chapter 8.28


8.28.010    Purpose.

8.28.020    Definitions.

8.28.030    Place of solicitation.

8.28.040    Pedestrian interference—Prohibited.

8.28.050    Solicitation by coercion—Prohibited.

8.28.060    Penalty.

8.28.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to protect citizens from the fear and intimidation accompanying certain kinds of solicitation, to promote business and tourism, and to preserve the quality of life while providing safe and appropriate venues for constitutionally protected activity. (Ord. 1474 § 1 (part), 2016).

8.28.020 Definitions.

The following definitions apply in this chapter:

(a)    “Aggressive panhandling” means to beg with the intent to intimidate or coerce another person into giving money or goods.

(b)    “Automated teller machine” means a machine other than a telephone:

(1)    That is capable of being operated by a customer of a financial institution;

(2)    By which the customer may communicate to the financial institution a request to withdraw, deposit, transfer funds, make payment, or otherwise conduct financial business for the customer or another person directly from the customer’s account; and

(3)    The use of which may or may not involve personnel of a financial institution.

(c)    “Coerce” or “coercive” means to do any of the following with intent:

(1)    To approach, speak or gesture to a person in such a manner as would cause a reasonable person to believe that the person is being threatened with the commission of a criminal act upon the person, another person or property in the person’s possession; or

(2)    To approach within one foot of a person for the purpose of making a solicitation without obtaining said person’s initial consent; or

(3)    To persist in a solicitation after the person solicited has given a negative response; or

(4)    To block the passage of a person, pedestrian traffic, a vehicle or vehicular traffic while making a solicitation; or

(5)    To engage in conduct that would reasonably be construed as intended to compel or force a person being solicited to accede to demands; or

(6)    To make any false or misleading representation in the course of making a solicitation.

(d)    “Exterior public pay telephone” means any coin or credit card reader telephone that is:

(1)    Installed or located anywhere on a premises except exclusively in the interior of a building located on the premises; and

(2)    Accessible and available for use by members of the general public.

(e)    “Intimidate” means to engage in conduct which would make a reasonable person fearful for their safety or the safety of another person, or feel compelled to accede to a request or demand.

(f)    “Obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic” means to walk, stand, sit, lie, or place an object in such a manner as to block passage by another person or a vehicle, or to require another person or a driver of a vehicle to take evasive action to avoid physical contact. Acts authorized as an exercise of one’s constitutional right to picket or to legally protest, and acts authorized by a city of Othello permit shall not constitute obstruction of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

(g)    “Panhandling” means: any means of asking, begging, requesting, or pleading made in person, orally or in a written or printed manner, directed to another person, requesting an immediate donation of money, contribution, alms, financial aid, charity, gifts of items or service of value, or the purchase of an item or service for an amount far exceeding its value, under circumstances where a reasonable person would understand that the purchase is in substance a donation.

(h)    “Public place” means an area generally visible to public view and includes alleys, bridges, buildings, driveways, parking lots, parks, plazas, sidewalks and streets open to the general public, including those that serve food or drink or provide entertainment, and the doorways and entrances to buildings or dwellings and the grounds enclosing them.

(i)    “Public transportation stop” means an area officially marked and designated as a place to wait for a bus or any other public transportation vehicle that is operated on a scheduled route.

(j)    “Public transportation vehicle” has the meaning given that term in RCW 46.04.355, as currently adopted or as it may be amended in the future.

(k)    “Self-service car wash” means a structure:

(1)    At which a vehicle may be manually washed by its owner or operator with equipment that is activated by the deposit of money in a coin-operated machine; and

(2)    That is accessible and available for use by members of the general public.

(l)    “Self-service fuel pump” means a fuel pump:

(1)    From which a vehicle may be manually filled with gasoline or other fuel directly by its owner or operator, with or without the aid of an employee or attendant of the premises at which the fuel pump is located; and

(2)    That is accessible and available for use by members of the general public.

(m)    “Solicit” and all derivative forms of “solicit” means to ask, beg, solicit, or plead, whether orally or in written or printed manner, for the purpose of immediately receiving contributions, alms, charity, or gifts of items of value for oneself or another person. (Ord. 1474 § 1 (part), 2016).

8.28.030 Place of solicitation.

It is unlawful for any person to solicit another person under any of the following circumstances:

(a)    While a person uses an automated teller machine or within five minutes after the person uses such machine;

(b)    Within ten feet of an entrance to any building, unless the solicitor has permission from the owner or occupant;

(c)    While a person uses an exterior public pay telephone or within five minutes after the person uses such telephone;

(d)    While a person uses a self-service car wash or within five minutes after the person uses such car wash;

(e)    While a person uses a self-service fuel pump or within five minutes after the person uses such fuel pump;

(f)    While a person is at a public transportation stop or within five minutes after such person disembarks from a public transportation vehicle;

(g)    Any parked vehicle as occupants of such vehicle enter or exit such vehicle;

(h)    From private property, unless the solicitor has permission from the owner or occupant;

(i)    After sunset or before sunrise. (Ord. 1474 § 1 (part), 2016).

8.28.040 Pedestrian interference—Prohibited.

A person is guilty of pedestrian interference if, in a public place, he or she intentionally obstructs pedestrian or vehicular traffic as defined in Section 8.28.020(f). (Ord. 1474 § 1 (part), 2016).

8.28.050 Solicitation by coercion—Prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for a person to aggressively panhandle or solicit by coercion. (Ord. 1474 § 1 (part), 2016).

8.28.060 Penalty.

Violation of this chapter is a C-8 civil infraction. (Ord. 1474 § 1 (part), 2016).