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Updating Ordinances in Prescott

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During my time as a council member and Mayor for the City of Prescott, there have been many instances of antiquated, outdated, and sometimes ineffective ordinances that were not consistent with our current times, or the real-world environment. In addition, several judicial decisions and case law have affected some of these ordinances. For that reason, I have been working with the City Attorney and his team to identify and update some highly visible ordinances, to meet the test of modern times.

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A few of those are related to adult entertainment, or sexually-oriented businesses, and the hosting of sexually oriented shows such as cabaret or drag shows. I have heard from many citizens concerned with these types of shows appearing more frequently in Prescott, at a variety of venues and events. Citizens have alleged that children have been brought into these events by adults, but the City does nothing.

This is due in part to outdated ordinances that do not address this type of activity specifically. While banning of such shows is beyond the City’s authority, the City can require licensing of such events, and limit underage attendance. I have asked the City Attorney to bring these updated ordinances to Council this fall, for the council and the public to review and comment on.

The other ordinance that needs to be updated in my opinion, is the city’s camping ordinance. The camping ordinance needs to be updated following 9th Circuit Court opinions which limit bans on camping within City limits. These cases do allow for time, place, and manner restrictions though, and our update is intended to restrict camping in areas near pedestrians, schools, and concentrations of people, and to prevent the biggest issues presented in many cities, namely encampments, clustering of a homeless population, and interfering with sidewalks and public rights of way.

These are two examples of outdated ordinances that must be updated to address current-day issues. Prescott is a very old City, and there are no doubt many more ordinances that should be updated to address modern-day issues. We will continue to identify those opportunities to update ordinances and codes and will seek to establish a policy of enforcement of these codes. My goal is to make sure that the ordinances of the City of Prescott meet the needs of our citizens in these modern times.

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