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Joint councils consider ordinance on sitting, standing in certain public areas

Posted at 4:58 PM, Aug 18, 2020

At Tuesday's Lafayette Consolidated Government meeting, the joint councils considered an introductory ordinance that would make it a misdemeanor to sit or stand in or on certain public areas.

The introductory ordinance calls that the city-parish's code of ordinances be amended to add a section that would make it unlawful for any person to sit or stand for any period of time a) in or within 36 inches of any roadway; b) in or on any unpaved median; or c) in or on any median of less than 36 inches, except in areas that are designated bus stops.

Acadiana Regional Coalition on Homelessness & Housing (ARCH) released a statement Tuesday afternoon speaking against the ordinance. The organization said the current numbers of people in the city facing eviction and homelessness are "skyrocketing," and that the homeless shelter system is unable to meet the demand.

"Our response to this crisis simply CAN NOT [sic] be to make it is illegal to sit or stand in public places. We can do better," the statement reads.

The ordinance will be up for final approval at the joint council's September 1 meeting.

Also at tonight's meetings, the parish council voted to make the MLK Center an early voting site for Lafayette's north side. The joint council introduced an ordinance to limit discussion of non-agenda items to certain meetings, and the city council discussed an introductory ordinance to hire legal counsel to settle a dispute with the Guillory administration and the parish council over their ability to control city tax dollars.

You can watch Tuesday's meeting here.

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