(File photo)

City’s proposed panhandling bylaw returns for public hearing

Downtown Salmon Arm businesses encouraged to provide input

The slumbering Street Solicitation Prevention Bylaw will be awakened on Monday, May 13.

On Aug. 13, 2018, a public hearing on the city’s proposed panhandling bylaw was adjourned by city council to gather more input. Council wished to allow time to pursue more compassionate solutions, particularly after hearing opposition to the bylaw’s proposed fines for panhandling.

At that hearing, disappointment with the lack of input from downtown businesses was expressed, noting that such businesses were a large part of the impetus to create the proposed bylaw.

This time the city has received more written responses, several from business owners.

Read more: Proposed Salmon Arm bylaw would clamp down on panhandlers

Read more: Opinion – Panhandling bylaw not a solution to root of problem

Read more: Salmon Arm’s panhandling bylaw put on hold

The bylaw would limit panhandling on a street to within 15 metres of the entrance to a bank, credit union or trust company, an ATM, a bus stop or shelter, a restaurant with outdoor seating or the entrance to a theatre or art gallery.

It would also prohibit panhandling while seated or lying on a street, from sunset to sunrise, and from a public bench or within a public plaza.

Anyone who commits an offence would be liable to a fine and penalty of not more than $2,000 and not less than $50.

“It is the same draft bylaw that was in the public hearing in August; we recessed the public hearing, but we didn’t close it as we wanted to get more input and have a chance to think about it,” said Mayor Alan Harrison on Friday. “We will reopen the public hearing as we have quite a bit of new input and information.”

He said his expectation is that council will either pass, defeat or amend the bylaw.

“I’m not sure what council will do, but we hope to bring some closure to that.”

The evening council meeting in city hall’s council chambers will begin at 7 p.m. on May 13. Public input is welcomed. The public hearing on the proposed panhandling bylaw is not the first item on the agenda.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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