Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Feeding in Public | City of Orlando Ordinance, Permit for Large Group Feedings, List of Applicable Parks

On July 6, 2010, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal released its opinion upholding Orlando's Large Group Feeding Ordinance, finding that it does not violate either the First Amendment of the United States Constitution nor the Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act. City Attorney Mayanne Downs gave press availability to discuss the ruling Wednesday, July 7 at 10:30 am at Orlando City Hall, Rotunda, in downtown Orlando.

City Attorney Mayanne Downs, July 7, 2010

Permit for Large Group Feedings
List of parks applicable to Group Feeding Ordinance and map

City of Orlando Ordinance

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 18A (PARKS AND OUTDOOR PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES) OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF ORLANDO BY AMENDING SECTION 18A.01 (DEFINITIONS) TO ADD THE TERMS “LARGE GROUP FEEDING,” AND “GREATER DOWNTOWN PARK DISTRICT (GDPD),” AND CREATING NEW SECTION 18A.09-2 (LARGE GROUP FEEDING IN PARKS AND PARK FACILITIES OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY THE CITY IN THE GDPD) ESTABLISHING A PROHIBITION ON LARGE GROUP FEEDING IN PUBLIC PARKS AND FACILITIES IN THE GDPD WITHOUT A LARGE GROUP FEEDING PERMIT, AND LIMITING PERMITS TO TWO PER USER PER PARK IN A 12 MONTH PERIOD, AND ESTABLISHING A PROHIBITION FOR FAILING TO DISPLAY THE PERMIT TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER ON DEMAND WITH AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE THERETO, AND PROVIDING FOR APPEAL FROM DENIAL OF A LARGE GROUP FEEDING PERMIT, AND PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

WHEREAS, the City of Orlando encourages use of City owned or controlled parks by City residents in a safe, sanitary, and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere; and

WHEREAS, unregulated large group feeding in public parks in the Greater Downtown Park District (GDPD) has resulted in litter on park grounds and surrounding rights-of-way such as food, food containers, and other food wrappings, creating hazards to the health and welfare of citizens, , birds, and animals, and is detrimental to the aesthetic atmosphere of parks; and

WHEREAS, large group feeding in public parks in the GDPD require provision of adequate trash receptors and additional park personnel for inspection and clean up of park grounds which would be more manageable by advance notice and regulation of large group feedings through a permit system; and

WHEREAS, the GDPD area is experiencing a steady and significant increase in residential and other growth and a corresponding competition for park space and usage by citizens; and

WHEREAS, excessive use of parks and park facilities in the GDPD area for large group feeding by single persons or groups denies that park or facility space for use by other citizens, which placement of reasonable time restrictions on use would resolve; and

WHEREAS, testimony before City Council has demonstrated that fear, intimidation, and criminal acts have accompanied or followed some large group feedings in some parks within the GDPD, affecting the safety and welfare of City residents; and

WHEREAS, the City is committed to and has provided for and set aside reasonable, ample, alternative land space within the GDPD for large group feeding of the homeless by religious and other organizations which land is not covered by or affected by the restrictions of this ordinance; and

WHEREAS, the current parks and park facilities in the GDPD, and future parks established by City Council in the GDPD, are particularly affected by all these conditions, and confining large group feeding regulations to only a few central downtown parks would likely cause the conditions to spill over or spread to adjacent or nearby parks in the GDPD.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ORLANDO, FLORIDA:

SECTION ONE: Section 18A.01, of the Code of the City of Orlando be, and the same is hereby, amended to read as follows:

Sec. 18A.01. Definitions.

The following terms, when used in this Chapter shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section:

* * * *

(23) Large Group Feeding is defined as an event intended to attract, attracting, or likely to attract 25 or more people, including distributors and servers, in a park or park facility owned or controlled by the City, including adjacent sidewalks and rights-of-way in the GDPD, for the delivery or service of food. Excluded from this definition are activities of City licensed or contracted concessionaires, lessees, or licensees.

(24) Greater Orlando Park District (GDPD) is defined as an area within the limits of the City of Orlando, Florida, extending out a two (2) mile radius in all directions from City Hall and including all of the parks and park facilities owned or controlled by the City touched by that radius, in their entirety.

SECTION TWO: Section 18A.09-2, of the Code of the City of Orlando be, and the same is hereby, created to read as follows:

Sec. 18A.09-2. Large Group Feeding in Parks and Park Facilities Owned or Controlled by the City in the Greater Downtown Park District (GDPD).

Except for activities of a governmental agency within the scope of its governmental authority, or unless specifically permitted to do so by a permit or approval issued pursuant to this Chapter or by City Council:

(a) It is unlawful to knowingly sponsor, conduct, or participate in the distribution or service of food at a large group feeding at a park or park facility owned or controlled by the City of Orlando within the boundary of the Greater Downtown Park District without a Large Group Feeding Permit issued by the City Director of Families, Parks and Recreation or his/her designee.

(b) It is unlawful to fail to produce and display the Large Group Feeding Permit during or after a large group feeding, while still on site, to a law enforcement officer upon demand. It is an affirmative defense to this violation if the offender can later produce, to the City Prosecutor or the Court, a Large Group Feeding Permit issued to him/her, or the group, which was valid at the time of the event.

(c) The Director of Families, Parks and Recreation or his/her designee shall issue a Large Group Feeding Permit upon application and payment of the application fee as established by the City. Not more than two (2) Large Group Feeding Permits shall be issued to the same person, group, or organization for large group feedings for the same park in the GDPD in a twelve (12) consecutive month period.

(d) Any applicant shall have the right to appeal the denial of a Large Group Feeding Permit pursuant to appeal procedure in Sec. 18A.15 with written notice to the Director of Families, Parks and Recreation and with a copy to the City Clerk.

SECTION THREE: If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct, and independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion hereto.

SECTION FOUR: This ordinance shall take effect upon passage.
ADVERTISED:, 2006.
READ FIRST TIME:, 2006.
READ SECOND TIME AND ADOPTED: , 2006.

CITY OF ORLANDO, FLORIDA
Mayor / Pro Tem

ATTEST:
Alana C. Brenner, City Clerk

APPROVED AS TO FORM AND LEGALITY for the use and reliance of the City of Orlando, Florida, only., 2006. City Attorney, Orlando, Florida

chapter 18A-1

07/07/10 11:27 AM

7 comments:

Karie said...

Wow.... what an awesome city. They should focus their attention on the actual crime in our city. My car was broken into twice... in almost 3 years. Meanwhile they are going nuts giving everyone parking tickets. Why waste the time to come up with this, have police arresting good-hearted kids, and then all the court battles??? How much more backwards can you get??

Jessica said...

The situation is this: There are homeless people living downtown. LOTS of homeless people.
Personally, I would prefer to be around a situation where potential intimidators and crime makers are being fed. And not one where they are being starved and made more desperate.

Anonymous said...

Why should the homeless be the only ones who get to enjoy the park? The non-homeless have equal rights to be there, yet the homeless critical mass, sponsored by free food, prevents others from enjoying the park.

Jessica said...

The point is, the homeless are going to be there either way. They don't bury themselves into holes when Food Not Bombs is not around.
Sure it is easier to notice when a type of people are gathered all in one spot, but if they are not gathered they are still around.

The problem here is not Food Not Bombs or any other orginization doing the same, the problem is much more complex: Why are there so many homeless people to begin with? What is the cause? What is the solution? Where can they go when there is no place to go?

In the past, I have personally helped with a few of these food sharings. The people being fed were happy and very grateful. They even helped clean up after their meals. Some of these people being fed are families. Homeless people don't come in one size or shape.

It's a very sad situation, either way you look at it.
No one deserves to feel intimidated or unsafe in their own neighborhood.
Likewise, no one deserves to be pushed into the gutters of our minds to starve to death.

Karie said...

Does it have to be either/ or? Why can't we both use it? In the times I have gone to the sharings, I have never seen intimidation. I'm not saying it hasn't happened, but everyone seem respectful and friendly to me. The feedings are only twice a week with food not bombs. I think there is another night where a church goes. I hardly think that is not letting anyone else use the park.

Keats' said...

If you'd like to get the legal reasoning behind the 11th circuit decision, you can read a VERY brief summary here:
http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2010/07/11th-circuit-upholds-limits-on-feeding.html

Scottie Campbell said...

The City Attorney is clearly good at her job. She's explained the city's position in a way that makes you think what they're doing is for the good of the city. The truth is they simply don't want the homeless being fed in their pretty little park where they can actually be seen and recognized an ongoing crisis in our country.

If the city officials actually care about people, then these careful political explanations would also be accompanied by solutions to the situation. We put these people in office to solve problems, not create more.