They also okayed a contract to realign Butterfly Lane.
Frederick, Md (KM). Beginning July 1st, a new ordinance takes affect in Frederick which allows police officers to issue exclusion orders to anyone who commit a civil or criminal infraction in a city park within a 12-month period. The order would prohibit the individual from visiting the park where the infraction occurred for 90-days, or 180-days for a second or subsequent order.
Some of the offenses which would prohibit someone from a park include alcohol in the parks, being present when the park is closed, camping on public property, distribution of a synthetic cannabinoid and urinating in the parks. Anyone committing these violations three or more times would be excluded. The ones where an individual would be excluded for 90-days after one offense include discharging firearms or other dangerous weapons, fornication in public places, graffiti , malicious destruction of property and drug offenses.
‘The purpose of this ordinance is protect law abiding citizens in their use of city parks, and to authorize the city to exclude persons violating the applicable laws from specific city parks for such conduct as violent or disruptive of other city residents, visitors and employees, or the conduct of city operations,” says Rachel Depo, Assistant City Attorney for the City of Frederick.
The ordinance allows those individuals who are subject to exclusion orders to file an appeal, if they wish, with the Public Works Director or the Circuit Court. But the exclusion order would remain in effect during the appeal process, says Depo.
They could also seek a waiver form the City of Police. “Somebody wants to attend a First-Amendment protected event. One person to call the Chief can say ‘absolutely, you’re granted a waiver,'” says Captain Patrick Grossman, Deputy Police Chief. “Then the word will obviously get to us who would be the main enforcers of it. As we’re policing that event, we already know that this person was granted a waiver and is good to go. So it’s more the speed of efficiency for the Chief to grant the waiver versus the appeal.”
Violators of the exclusion order would be subject to a fine of $500 or no more than 90 days in jail.
The vote for the ordinance was 4-1 with Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak in opposition because she said she didn’t like the title of the ordinance which is “Safety in the Parks.” Kuzemchak preferred the title be “Certain Illegal Activities, Temporary Exclusion,” which she says is what the law does: exclude certain people. “The word exclusion is the entire way through this,” she said. “The scope is, in addition to other remedies, which are provided in other parts, the city may exclude an individual for the parks. It is what we are doing.”
But Alderman Ben MacShane said using the word “exclusion” “runs the risk of bringing back into other peoples’ minds histories in our city and our communities of excluding certain individuals from parks, and not allowing all people to participate in all public spaces,” he said.
Alderman Roger Wilson said he wasn’t too concerned about the title. “I’m more focused on the enforcement, the scope of this ordinance,” he said.
“I support the ordinance. That’s what I’m here to do. I think the title is not as good as it could be I really don’t care at this point. I want the ordinance to pass,:” said Alderwoman Kelly Russell.
Russell made the passing motion. Alderwoman Kuzemchak introduced an amendment to the motion to changes the name, but it failed due to a lack of a second.
In other action, the Board of Aldermen approved a contract with Kinsley Construction to realign Butterfly Lane. The contract totals $5.7 million.
City Engineer Tracy Coleman says plans are to extend Himes Avenue from Butterfly Lane to the Intersection with Swallowtail Drive and Route 180. “The road will be the extension of Himes Avenue. Existing Butterfly Lane will be widened to offer a parking lane, improved curb and gutter between McCain Drive and Himes Avenue. Butterfly Lane will be terminated in a ‘T’ turnaround at Acropolis Way, closing the current intersection at Jefferson Pike,” she says.
Part of the plan also includes extending Contender Way in front of Butterfly Ridge Elementary School to meet the new Himes Avenue.
Coleman says there are safety problems with the intersection of Butterfly Lane and Route 180. “One, the road is narrow close to the intersection. So it’s very, very challenging. Traffic backs up there It’s not an efficient intersection. Secondly , it’s too close to the existing intersection with Himes and the off ramp. So there’s a safety issue with intersection being too close,” she says.
Coleman says the notice to proceed is expected to be given to the contractor in early or mid-April of this year. The project is set to be completed by November, 2020, she says.
By Kevin McManus