Review of city ordinances continuesIt might be time to change the ordinance that prohibits snowball fights and kite flying on the streets of Jamestown. The prohibition against these things may still stay in place but the reference to activities spooking horses or teams may be removed from the books.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
It might be time to change the ordinance that prohibits snowball fights and kite flying on the streets of Jamestown.
The prohibition against these things may still stay in place but the reference to activities spooking horses or teams may be removed from the books.
A committee of the Jamestown Finance and Legal Committee met Monday to review city ordinances that deal with public behavior. The committee is meeting once a month to review the entire city ordinance book. It will recommend to the City Council which segments of code need to be addressed.
“We want to look at every chapter of the city code to get an overview of what needs to be done,” said Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen. “A lot of the chapters were updated in the early 2000s when the city administrator was added. Others are updated after each session of the Legislature. But a lot hasn’t been updated or organized for a long time.”
The process is meant to eliminate confusion.
“What we want is consistent language,” said Scott Edinger, Jamestown police chief. “The current code is consistently inconsistent.”
Andersen suggested working on the entire section involving wine or beer tasting events to eliminate confusion as to where the events could be held.
City Administrator Jeff Fuchs suggested the ordinance allowing fraternal clubs to only allow members to drink could be eliminated.
“If it is not enforceable, why have it?” he said.
Other discussions were more technical involving how failed compliance checks could be handled and the number and allowable locations of businesses selling alcohol. Current ordinances prohibit issuing an alcohol license where the door of the establishment is closer than 275 feet from a church or school.
Another section dealt with dances and included regulations on how much light had to be provided on the dance floor.
“This is another section that has outlived its usefulness,” said Ken Dalstad, city attorney.
In other cases some definitions may get an update. Edinger suggested the definition of a bicycle be expanded to include three-wheeled pedaled vehicles and the requirement of a bell be removed.
Other definitions that may require updates included trailers and recreational vehicles to include the larger units officers now encounter.
The committee will meet on May 29 to consider changes necessary to the city’s building codes and the processes of issuing building permits.
When the process of reviewing all ordinances is complete, the areas of concern will be reviewed by the City Council.
After that review the process of writing the new ordinances could be contracted to a legal firm or handled by the city attorney’s office with the assistance of some additional temporary staff or interns.
“We want to be proactive about the ordinances and enforcement,” Andersen said. “We want to create a set of laws the police department can enforce effectively.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at email@example.com