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Springs must avoid falling victim to panhandlers

Growing up in New York, I learned early in life how to get along in a city where street life is active and diverse. A primary element of learning street smarts was knowing which areas to avoid. Now, as an adult and business owner, I am dismayed to see this lesson being learned in my… Continue Reading Springs must avoid falling victim to panhandlers

Federal District Court Judge Marsha Krieger issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday that prohibits Colorado Springs from enforcing its recently-passed “no solicitation zone” in the city’s downtown area. The Colorado Springs City Council approved the ordinance, which outlaws all forms of solicitation in a 12-block area downtown, on Nov. 27. The council took the issue up… Continue Reading Federal Court issues injunction on panhandling ordinance

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City Attorney Chris Melcher knew he might have to defend a no-solicitation ordinance in court, but he was surprised by how swiftly the American Civil Liberties Union filed its lawsuit. “I understand it was just two hours after the City Council voted,” Melcher said. On Nov. 27, Colorado Springs City Council approved a no-solicitation ordinance… Continue Reading City responds to ACLU’s no-solicitation law suit

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The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court against the City of Colorado Springs, asking for an injunction of the new no-solicitation zone City Council approved Tuesday. The lawsuit claims that the amendment to the city’s solicitation ordinance violates First Amendment rights to free speech. The ACLU filed the… Continue Reading ACLU files suit over no-solicitation ordinance

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The Colorado Springs City Council voted 8-to-1 Tuesday to ban panhandling downtown. City Attorney Chris Melcher redrafted the ordinance after requests from Councilors to include Acacia Park and the sidewalk in front of the library on Cascade Avenue. Those areas were originally omitted from the zone because Melcher worried they would be considered public forums.… Continue Reading City Council bans panhandling downtown

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Panhandling ordinance gets first reading Nov. 13

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The Colorado Springs City Council will take up the “no soliticitation zone’ ordinance at its Nov. 13 formal meeting. The ordinance will prohibit panhandling downtown and in Acacia Park, if it passes City Council. The city attorney was asked by Council to present options for addressing solicitation downtown and on the Westside on Oct. 8.… Continue Reading Panhandling ordinance gets first reading Nov. 13

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The Colorado Springs City Council is moving forward with a proposal to ban panhandling downtown. After hearing from City Attorney Chris Melcher on two separate occasions, and sending him back to the drawing board to make the ordinance cover Acacia Park and broader areas of downtown, Council has set the dates for discussion. Melcher will… Continue Reading Council sets dates for proposed panhandling ordinance

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Panhandling ban might spur more thorny issues

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Many Colorado Springs City Councilors indicated last week they didn’t believe a proposed ordinance to stem panhandling downtown goes far enough, but free speech advocates question its constitutionality. Council will have a first reading Tuesday and conduct a hearing on the proposed amendment to its city-wide ordinance against aggressive panhandling. The change would outlaw begging… Continue Reading Panhandling ban might spur more thorny issues

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A no-panhandling ordinance will have to be very narrowly defined if it’s going to stand up in court, Colorado Springs City Attorney Chris Melcher told City Council Monday. “Soliciting for money is a first-amendment protected speech,” Melcher said. First amendment speech rights can be limited, but it has to be done very carefully, he explained… Continue Reading Councilors want no-panhandling ordinance to be more comprehensive

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There was broad support from those who spoke at an initial public input meeting regarding a possible city ordinance prohibiting panhandling downtown Tuesday. Before the city administrators present the ordinance at an informal city council meeting Monday, the Downtown Partnership wanted to get input from stakeholders, said downtown partnership executive director Ron Butlin. The ordinance… Continue Reading Downtown stakeholders support no-panhandling ordinance

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