Historic City News watched carefully as years of bad blood between city management and local artists came to a head, and a unanimous city commission voted to approve Ordinances 2017-24 through 2017-29 in order to comply with the terms of a mediated settlement in the case of Bates, et. al. v. City of St. Augustine.
This is not the first lawsuit against the City, nor the first loss for the City when it comes to enforcement of unconstitutional ordinances that infringed the civil rights of local expressive artists to create and sell their work in public places.
Tonight, members of the city commission voted 5-0 to implement the repeal, amendment, and creation of six ordinances approved on Monday August 28th.
On September 25, 2017 these ordinances were passed on first reading. Tonight, after a public hearing, they were read and approved on second reading.
- Ordinance 2017-24 – Repeals the pre-1964 ordinance regarding Peddlers and the permitting requirements.
- Ordinance 2017-25 – Repeals regulation of the West Plaza grounds now owned and controlled by the State of Florida.
- Ordinance 2017-26 – Amends the regulation of the lottery system at the Market in the Plaza to preclude commercial activity, reduce administrative fees, and providing and indigency waiver of fees.
- Ordinance 2017-27 – Amends the definitions for street artist and provides definition for Expressive Speech.
- Ordinance 2017-28 – Amends the Mobile Vendors regulation to exempt Street Artists from the requirements, reduce the administrative fees and extend hours of operation.
- Ordinance 2017-29 – Creates section 22-19 of the City code to provide for twelve First Amendment Expressive Activity spaces be created under the covered area adjacent to the Historic Downtown Parking Facility. It also provides for a lottery system, administrative fees, and an indigency waiver.