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3 things to know before Tuesday’s Gainesville City Council meeting
Panhandling, 'urban camping,' Limestone Greenway on council agenda
City of Gainesville Administrative Building1.jpg

Gainesville City Council has three key items on its agenda for Tuesday’s scheduled meeting at the Public Safety Complex.

Gainesville City Council

When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2

Where: Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway

Panhandling and solicitation

In an effort to address the issue of panhandling, the council will consider an ordinance that places restrictions on where people can ask for money and prohibits soliciting that is defined as “aggressive.”

The ordinance makes it unlawful to solicit “in an aggressive manner” in a public place. In the ordinance, “aggressive manner” is defined as behavior that would cause someone to believe they are in danger, intimidating someone after they have declined the person soliciting, touching someone without their consent, blocking the person being solicited or using threatening or abusive language.

It would also be illegal to solicit on public transit or at public transit stops, after sunset or before sunrise, in public parking lots or parking decks, or within 15 feet of the entrance or exit of a bank, check cashing business or ATM, unless the building owner gives permission.

Urban camping

Another ordinance would prohibit “urban camping,” or living or sleeping in public spaces.

Camping is defined in the ordinance as using a place for living, such as erecting a tent, sleeping somewhere for more than an hour at a time or cooking or preparing meals.

The ordinance would make it illegal to camp or store personal property in a park, underneath a bridge or on a public road. No one would be arrested unless they received a warning first, according to the ordinance.

Beth Oropeza, co-director of Good News at Noon homeless ministry in Gainesville, said Good News would work with the city to address homelessness and house people who may need a place to stay.

Limestone Greenway

The council will vote Tuesday on the proposed Limestone Greenway mixed-use development at the intersection of Limestone and Jesse Jewell parkways. The development received unanimous support from the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board on Sept. 11.

The proposal includes 189,400 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The residential portion would have 33 single-family homes and up to 252 apartments.

Only the single-family homes will have access from Lakeview Drive. The commercial development and the apartments would be accessed from Limestone and Jesse Jewell parkways.

On Sept. 11, planning board members approved the annexation request for about 75 acres, which would allow the city to extend water and sewer to the property.

Residents did have some concerns Sept. 11 about the development’s impact on schools, traffic and the historic New Holland area.

Reporter Joshua Silavent contributed to this report.

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