Judge permits city to enforce partial no-solicitation

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downtownWhile the city’s downtown no-solicitation zone is still being challenged in court following an ACLU lawsuit against the city, Federal Judge Marsha Krieger ruled today that police can enforce a portion of the law that prohibits soliciting within 20 feet of a residential or business entrance.

Colorado Springs City Council approved an ordinance in November that prohibited solicitation within a 12-block area downtown. The ACLU immediately filed a lawsuit arguing that the new ordinance violates the First Amendment right to free speech.

The injunction Krieger issued against enforcing the new ordinance applies only to the creation of the downtown no-solicitation zone ordinance, according to a release from the city.

“The Department will be warning violators the first time they solicit within 20 feet and will serve them a ticket for subsequent violations,” Police Chief Pete Carey said in a statement.

“This will benefit not only Downtown, but also merchants on the Westside and throughout the City,” City Attorney Chris Melcher said in a statement. “It accomplishes quite a lot of what we were hoping for, so we’re very pleased with that.”