The Rome City Commission is taking aim at panhandling and homeless camps with two ordinances slated to be unveiled Monday night.
First readings are also scheduled for proposed limits on fireworks and four-wheelers at the meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, 601 Broad St. Commissioners start their pre-meeting caucus at 5 p.m. and both sessions are public.
The first ordinance would ban “urban camping” – defined as “the use of an area for living-accommodation purposes” such as sleeping, cooking or storing personal effects – on all public property without a permit.
It also contains prohibitions on blocking the entrances and exits of buildings, alleys and other public and private property.
The panhandling ordinance expressly forbids solicitations for money near outdoor cafes, ATMs, banks and the entrances and exits of buildings. It also defines and bans “aggressive panhandling” within the city limits.
A number of Georgia cities besides Atlanta have enacted similar ordinances in recent months. Ringgold did so in December and LaFayette followed suit in March.
Commissioners also will consider a ban on the use of fireworks on public property, including parks and recreation areas, without a special permit. No one under 18 would be allowed to have them.
The fourth proposed ordinance would prohibit off-road ATVs on public roads, shoulders, sidewalks, trails and paths.
The city’s charter requires at least two readings at regular meetings before an ordinance can be passed.
Among the other items on Monday night’s agenda is a public hearing and decision on an application to remove four parcels from the East Rome Historic District. Owners of 305, 309, 311 and 315 E. Seventh St. have made the request.
The city’s Historic Preservation Commission is recommending against the removal for essentially the same reason the owners want out: They’re the last remaining historical buildings in that section of East Seventh Street.
The historic preservation division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources also recommends the properties be retained and the Rome Area Heritage Foundation sent a letter echoing the recommendations. The owner of 315 has also said he is indifferent to the outcome, according to notes from the HPC.
City Manager Sammy Rich also is expected to announce his appointment of a new finance director to replace Sheree Shore, who retired last month after 35 years at the city. Rich said he received 13 applications for the position.