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Selective Enforcement documented on Pacific Ave. in Santa Cruz, CA
by The Jones/Skelton Report
Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 10:55 AM
A chance encounter with a Ranger as we were documenting the marked lack of performers and artists on the avenue led to some insight into the types of directives that law enforcement has been given by the city. 3 minute video. Full story below.
A little over six months ago park Rangers began patrolling downtown Santa Cruz, CA in part to enforce new ordinances which modify and restrict activity for anyone placing anything on the public sidewalks and open spaces of downtown Santa Cruz. These ordinances have had major implications for musicians, street performers, artists, political advocates, and anyone else wishing to use the public spaces for many forms of constitutionally protected activity (see SCMC Chapter 5.81, below). They are required to be located within a “zone” or “box” 4x6 feet in size, leave after one hour, and follow additional restrictions. These spaces have been reduced in number progressively by more than half over the last couple of years, with few viable spaces remaining. Businesses have also long used public spaces and sidewalks to display merchandise and signage. They received a letter dated July 21, 2016 (see photo, below) outlining the need for their compliance with the new laws. Rangers and Santa Cruz police issued citations for violations of these codes, and many performers, artisans, and other individuals who weren’t allowed under the new code, or weren’t “in a zone,” or were there longer than one hour, were cited. As the months wore on and the business signage and racks of merchandise began to reappear along the avenue, there has been no apparent concern by law enforcement at their daily presence (almost never “in a zone,” and often displaying “banned items”). Many individual citizens and visiting performers to Santa Cruz continue to be cited for various related “offenses,” however. Tickets we have seen have all been in excess of $300.00.

See below for additional photo documentation, the letter from law enforcement, and Santa Cruz municipal code Chapter 5.81:

This is a developing story...
§Letter delivered to businesses dated July 21, 2016.
by The Jones/Skelton Report Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 10:56 AM
sm_letter_delivered_to_businesses_dated_july_21__2016.jpeg
Letter delivered to businesses dated July 21, 2016.
§Citizen being ticketed December 30, 2016.
by The Jones/Skelton Report Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 10:57 AM
sm_dec_30__2016_citizen_ticketed_on_pacific_ave_santa_cruz__ca.jpg
Citizen being ticketed December 30, 2016.
§Ticketed for displaying banned items
by The Jones/Skelton Report Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 10:58 AM
sm_ticketed_w__background_on_pacific_ave_santa_cruz__ca.jpg
Ticketed for displaying banned items (her jewelry, she was also playing a traditional Iranian instrument), with business owned merchandise in the background.
§This man utilized his multiple tickets to enhance his message (and continued protest)
by The Jones/Skelton Report Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 10:59 AM
sm_banned_art_pacific_ave_santa_cruz_ca.jpg
This man utilized his multiple tickets to enhance his message (and continued protest)
§Other signs and merchandise just down the road on Jan 7, 2017
by The Jones/Skelton Report Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 11:00 AM
sm_othersignsandmerchpacificavesantacruz1_7_2017.jpg
Other signs and merchandise just down the road on Jan 7, 2017
§Other signs and merchandise on public space on previous days on Pacific Ave.
by The Jones/Skelton Report Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 11:02 AM
sm_previousdayssignsmerchpacificavesantacruz1.jpg
Other signs and merchandise on public space on previous days on Pacific Ave.
§Other signs and merchandise on public space on previous days on Pacific Ave.
by The Jones/Skelton Report Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 11:03 AM
sm_previousdayssignsmerchpacificavesantacruz2otherdays.jpg
Other signs and merchandise on public space on previous days on Pacific Ave.
§Other signs and merchandise on public space on previous days on Pacific Ave.
by The Jones/Skelton Report Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 11:04 AM
sm_previousdayssignsmerchpacificavesantacruz3otherdays.jpg
Other signs and merchandise on public space on previous days on Pacific Ave.
§Other signs and merchandise on public space on previous days on Pacific Ave.
by The Jones/Skelton Report Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 11:04 AM
sm_previousdayssignsmerchpacificavesantacruz4otherdays.jpg
Other signs and merchandise on public space on previous days on Pacific Ave.
§Other signs and merchandise on public space on previous days on Pacific Ave.
by The Jones/Skelton Report Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 11:05 AM
sm_previousdayssignsmerchpacificavesantacruz5otherdays.jpg
Other signs and merchandise on public space on previous days on Pacific Ave.
§Other signs and merchandise on public space on previous days on Pacific Ave.
by The Jones/Skelton Report Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 11:07 AM
sm_previousdayssignsmerchpacificavesantacruz6otherdays.jpg
Other signs and merchandise on public space on previous days on Pacific Ave.
§SCMC CHAPTER 5.81
by The Jones/Skelton Report Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 11:09 AM
Santa Cruz Municipal Code Chapter 5.81:

Chapter 5.81 VENDING AND DISPLAY DEVICES ON CITY PROPERTY 8/20/16, 5:47 PM
Sections:
5.81.001 5.81.002 5.81.003 5.81.004 5.81.005 5.81.006 5.81.007 5.81.008 5.81.009
Chapter 5.81
VENDING AND DISPLAY DEVICES ON CITY PROPERTY
Purpose.
Definitions.
Application.
Display devices and exempt zones. Conduct in exempt zones. Commercial vending.
Benches and street furniture.
Display of goods on directly on sidewalks or street. Violations.
5.81.001 PURPOSE.
The purpose of this chapter is, for certain named high traffic areas within the city of Santa Cruz, to:
(a) Encourage traditional expressive speech and petitioning activities and performances, by banning commercial vending, and thus, making more room for inherently expressive activities;
(b) Protect public health, safety, and welfare by preventing overcrowding and trip and fall hazards;
(c) Prevent the visual clutter and blight associated with unregulated vending and the display of goods;
(d) Encourage tourism, shopping, and commerce by making certain areas walkable and visually appealing;
(e) Discourage the sale of stolen, defective, or counterfeit merchandise associated with unregulated
commercial vending;
(f) Discourage the sale of narcotics which is associated with unregulated commercial vending; and (g) Provide clear enforcement guidelines.
(Ord. 2016-07 (part), 2016).
5.81.002 DEFINITIONS.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases are defined as follows:
(a) The term “commercial vending” means to sell, offer for sale, expose or display for sale, solicit offers to purchase, or to barter food, goods, merchandise, or services in any area from a stand, table, pushcart, motor vehicle, bicycle, or by a person with or without the use of any other device, or to require someone to pay a fee or to set, negotiate, or establish a fee before providing food, goods, merchandise, or services, even if characterized by the vendor as a donation.
This definition of “commercial vending” includes the practice of providing, free of charge, an item which may
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Chapter 5.81 VENDING AND DISPLAY DEVICES ON CITY PROPERTY 8/20/16, 5:47 PM
not be vended, in exchange for the purchaser purchasing an item which may be vended as a condition for receiving the free item.
This definition of “commercial vending” does not include:
(i) Traditional expressive speech and petitioning activities, and the distribution of the following expressive items: newspapers, leaflets, pamphlets, bumper stickers, patches, and/or buttons.
(ii) The vending or distribution of the following items, which have been created, written or composed by the vendor or performer: books, audio, video, or other recordings of their performances, paintings, photographs, prints, or any other item that is inherently communicative and is of nominal value or utility apart from its communication.
Although an item may have some expressive purpose, it will be deemed to have more than nominal utility apart from its communication if it has a common and dominant nonexpressive purpose. Examples of items that have more than nominal utility apart from their communication, and thus are subject to the commercial vending ban under the provisions of this chapter, include but are not limited to the following: food, housewares, appliances, articles of clothing, hats, scarves, sunglasses, auto parts, oils, incense, perfume, crystals, rocks, geodes, lotions, candles, jewelry, jewelry holders, toys, stuffed animals, glass and metal pipes, and any vaping device.
(iii) A performance, which is hereby defined to mean: the act of engaging in any of the following activities: playing musical instruments, singing, dancing, acting, pantomiming, puppeteering, juggling, reciting, engaging in magic, creating visual art in its entirety, presenting or enacting a play, work of music, physical or mental feat, or other constitutionally protected entertainment or form of expression.
The term “performances” shall not include: (a) the application of substances to others’ bodies, including but not limited to, paints, dyes, and inks; (b) the provision of personal services such as massage or hair weaving, cutting, or styling; (c) the completion or other partial creation of visual art; (d) the creation of visual art which is mass produced or produced with limited variation; or (e) the creation of handcrafts, such as weaving, carving, stitching, sewing, lacing, and beading objects such as jewelry, pottery, silver work, leather goods, and trinkets.
(b) “Display device” means a freestanding table, rack, chair, box, stand, or any container, structure, or other object used or capable of being used for holding or displaying tangible things, together with any associated seating facilities. “Display device” does not include any street furniture such as benches or planters, any other structure permanently installed by the city of Santa Cruz or with the consent of the city of Santa Cruz, or newsracks placed in conformity with the provisions of this code regulating newsracks.
(c) “Exempt zones” means a clearly marked area where display devices may be placed on streets and sidewalks. The city council may establish exempt zones, as set out in Section 5.81.004.
(Ord. 2016-07 (part), 2016).
5.81.003 APPLICATION.
The rules stated in this chapter shall apply to the following places:
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Chapter 5.81 VENDING AND DISPLAY DEVICES ON CITY PROPERTY 8/20/16, 5:47 PM
(a) On the streets or sidewalks of West Cliff Drive between Columbia Street and Beach Street;
(b) On the streets or sidewalks of Beach Street between West Cliff Drive and Third Street;
(c) On the vehicle and pedestrian thoroughfares of the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf or on the Municipal
Wharf’s South End, Commons, and Agora;
(d) On the parcel of property abutting the ocean side of Beach Street between Westbrook and Cliff Streets (Assessor’s Parcel No. 05-341-03);
(e)
(f)
(g)
On the Beach Street Promenade Deck; or
On the streets or sidewalks of Beach Street, between the Municipal Wharf and Third Street;
On the streets or sidewalks of Pacific Avenue; and
On the streets or sidewalks of the side streets, alleys, and surface parking lots one block in either
(h)
direction from Pacific Avenue, between Laurel and Water Streets.
(Ord. 2016-07 (part), 2016).
5.81.004 DISPLAY DEVICES AND EXEMPT ZONES.
(a) Except for in exempt zones, or unless specifically permitted by another part of this municipal code, no person shall place, erect, maintain, or cause to be placed, erected, or maintained a display device on city property, in any of the areas listed in Section 5.81.003.
(b) The city council, by resolution, may from time to time designate exempt zones where display devices may be placed on city streets and sidewalks at locations where placement would ordinarily be prohibited. In designating an exempt zone, the city council shall first determine that the placement of display devices in the exempt zone will not impede or interfere with the safe, orderly, and adequate public access and pedestrian traffic on city streets and sidewalks.
(c) This section shall not be construed as prohibiting events that are conducted pursuant to, and in accordance with, Chapters 10.64 and 10.65.
(Ord. 2016-07 (part), 2016).
5.81.005 CONDUCT IN EXEMPT ZONES.
(a) No person, using a display device, shall allow a display device and its contents to remain in the same location on the sidewalk for a period of time exceeding one hour. After one hour, the person who placed, maintained, or controlled a display device shall not place a display device in the original display device location, or within one hundred feet of the original display device location, for twenty-four hours. The specific display device and its contents also shall not be placed in the original display device location, or within one hundred feet of the original display device location, for twenty-four hours.
(b) Display devices in exempt zones shall be at least eighteen inches in height, except that musicians and others engaged in performances may place a hat, guitar case, or other receptacle directly on the ground to
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Chapter 5.81 VENDING AND DISPLAY DEVICES ON CITY PROPERTY 8/20/16, 5:47 PM
collect donations.
(c) No person shall place, erect, or maintain a display device in an area for which a special event permit has been issued for a specific time or during periods in which safety enhancement zones are in effect.
(d) No person in an exempt zone may be accompanied by or in the custody or possession of a dog or any other animal.
(e) A display device may not exceed six feet in height.
(f) Neither a display device, nor personal items, nor the person(s) with custody of the display device may protrude onto the sidewalk beyond the performance space or tabling space in which the display device is permitted.
(g) No person may lay a cloth, tarp, or other similar material on the ground in an exempt zone.
(h) Except for (i) display devices and associated seating, (ii) hats, guitar cases, and other receptacles
intended for collecting donations, (iii) personal belongings wholly contained underneath a table, no person may set down any item directly on the sidewalk or street in an exempt zone.
(Ord. 2016-07 (part), 2016).
5.81.006 COMMERCIAL VENDING.
Whether inside an exempt zone or outside of an exempt zone, it shall be unlawful for any person or organization to engage in commercial vending, as defined above, in any of the areas listed in Section 5.81.003.
This section shall not be construed as prohibiting commercial events or noncommercial events in the foregoing designated areas which are conducted pursuant to, and in accordance with, Chapters 10.64 and 10.65.
(Ord. 2016-07 (part), 2016).
5.81.007 BENCHES AND STREET FURNITURE.
No person shall use any street furniture, including any bench, planter, utility cabinet, or other street furniture or structure permanently installed on public property, for the display, sale, or distribution of food, goods, merchandise, or services. This provision shall apply to the areas listed in Section 5.81.003.
(Ord. 2016-07 (part), 2016).
5.81.008 DISPLAY OF GOODS ON DIRECTLY ON SIDEWALKS OR STREET.
(a) No person, for the purpose of displaying items for sale or for some other form of distribution, even if characterized as a donation, may lay cloths, tarps, or other similar materials directly upon the street or sidewalk. This provision shall apply to the areas, both inside of exempt zones and outside of exempt zones, listed in Section 5.81.003.
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Chapter 5.81 VENDING AND DISPLAY DEVICES ON CITY PROPERTY 8/20/16, 5:47 PM
(b) No person may place food, goods, or merchandise directly on the sidewalk or street, so as to display those items for sale or for some other form of distribution, even if characterized as a donation. This provision shall apply to the areas, both inside of exempt zones and outside of exempt zones, listed in Section 5.81.003.
(Ord. 2016-07 (part), 2016).
5.81.009 VIOLATIONS.
Any person who violates this chapter is guilty of an infraction for the first offense. Any subsequent violation of this chapter occurring within six months after the first violation shall constitute a misdemeanor. At the discretion of the city attorney, said violation may be prosecuted as an infraction. In addition to any other available remedies and penalties, any violation(s) shall be subject to the remedies and penalties provided for in Title 4.
(Ord. 2016-07 (part), 2016).
The Santa Cruz Municipal Code is current through Ordinance 2016-10, passed June 28, 2016.
Disclaimer: The City Clerk's Office has the official version of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code. Users should contact the City Clerk's Office for ordinances passed subsequent to the ordinance cited above.
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§CORRECTION:
by The Jones/Skelton Report Sunday Jan 8th, 2017 11:15 AM
The date of the video is Friday January 6, 2017, Not January 7th as stated. Also applies to photo of other merchandise above as being on the 7th. Actually the 6th. We apologize for this error.
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Santa Cruz Sidewalk ClutterPat ColbyMonday Jan 9th, 2017 11:09 PM
Folks--Start Calling the Cops and Signing Citation Complaints (i.e. Citizen Arrests)Robert NorseMonday Jan 9th, 2017 9:54 PM