Chapter 9.46


9.46.010    Legislative findings.

9.46.020    Definitions.

9.46.030    Pedestrian interference.

9.46.040    Application in central business district.

9.46.050    Exceptions.

9.46.060    Penalty.

9.46.010 Legislative findings.

The city council finds that in order to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of pedestrians and goods on the public sidewalks of the city of Wapato, and to eliminate the public safety hazard created by individuals sitting or lying on public sidewalks, and to ensure that pedestrians and others using the city sidewalks are not intimidated by persons aggressively seeking to solicit money or goods, and to promote economic vitality and reduce petty crime, it is necessary to provide a sanction against pedestrian interference. (Ord. 1211 §1 (part), 2009)

9.46.020 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply in this chapter:

A. “Aggressively beg” means to beg with the intent to intimidate another person into giving money or goods.

B. “Beg” means to ask for money or goods as a charity, whether by words, bodily gestures, signs, or other means.

C. “Intimidate” means to engage in conduct which would make a reasonable person fearful or be compelled to do something.

D. “Obstruct pedestrian or vehicle traffic” means to:

1. Walk, stand, sit, lie, grasp a person, 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.

2. Sit or lie down upon a public sidewalk in a manner which blocks the sidewalk, or any part thereof.

E. “Public place” means an area generally visible to public view and/or open to the public access and includes alleys, buildings, driveways, parking lots, parks, sidewalks, and streets open to the general public including, but not limited to, places that serve food and/or drink or provide entertainment, and the doorways and entrances to such buildings or dwellings and the grounds enclosing them.

F. “Panhandling” means “beg” as defined in subsection B of this section for the purposes of this chapter. (Ord. 1211 §1 (part), 2009)

9.46.030 Pedestrian interference.

A person is guilty of pedestrian interference if he or she intentionally:

A. Aggressively begs;

B. Begs; or

C. Obstructs pedestrian or vehicle traffic. (Ord. 1211 §1 (part), 2009)

9.46.040 Application in central business district.

This chapter shall be applicable and enforceable only in the central business district as outlined in the zoning maps of the city of Wapato. (Ord. 1211 §1 (part), 2009)

9.46.050 Exceptions.

The prohibition against obstructing pedestrian or vehicular traffic in this chapter shall not apply to:

A. Acts authorized as an exercise of one’s constitutional right to picket or legally protest;

B. Any person sitting or lying down on a public sidewalk or street due to a medical emergency;

C. Any person who, as a result of a disability, permanent or temporary, utilizes a wheelchair, walker, or similar device to move about the public sidewalk or street;

D. Any person operating or patronizing a commercial establishment conducted on the public street pursuant to the ordinances and laws of the city of Wapato;

E. Any person participating in or attending a parade, festival, performance, rally, demonstration, meeting, or similar event conducted on the public sidewalk, or in the public street pursuant to a street use or other lawfully issued permit as necessary under the Wapato Municipal Code;

F. Any person sitting on a chair or bench located upon the public sidewalk which is supplied by a public agency or by the abutting private property owner. (Ord. 1211 §1 (part), 2009)

9.46.060 Penalty.

A. The penalty for a violation of Section 9.46.030(A) shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to ninety days in jail or up to a one-thousand-dollar fine, or both.

B. The penalty for the first violation of Section 9.46.030(B) and (C) shall be an infraction, punishable by a two-hundred-fifty-dollar fine. The penalty for subsequent violations shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to ninety days in jail or up to a one-thousand-dollar fine, or both. No person shall be punished under Section 9.46.030(B) or (C) unless the person engaged in conduct prohibited by this chapter after having been notified by a law enforcement officer that the conduct violates this chapter. (Ord. 1211 §1 (part), 2009)


Code reviser’s note:  Ord. 1211 added these provisions to the code as Chapter 9.40. This chapter has been editorially renumbered to prevent duplication of numbering.