[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Haverstraw 8-11-1986 as L.L. No. 2-1986. Sections 110-2 and 110-3 amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
The legislative body of the Town of Haverstraw makes the following findings::
There have been many citizen complaints directed to the Supervisor and local officials concerning the incidence of persons gathering in the public areas of the town and around shopping centers without a legitimate reason for being there. Also, on investigating these complaints, it is found that in the places complained of extremely large quantities of refuse, beer cans, beer bottles and other litter have been found to accumulate. In addition, it has been recognized that such illegitimate gatherings have discouraged citizens from utilizing these areas.
Surrounding towns have passed laws prohibiting loitering in public places and shopping centers in their towns. The complaints indicate and the investigations show that such illegitimate gatherings very often are participated in by very large groups of people and are associated with noise and rowdiness in addition to litter. It is anticipated that persons who participate in this kind of activity are likely to continue such behavior in areas which have no law regulating this type of behavior.
It is also found that where this kind of illegitimate gathering occurs, acts of vandalism have been found to occur and damage to public and private property has been sustained. It is also found that the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the community requires action in the public interest to regulate such behavior. It is also found that persons gathering in such public places and shopping centers do so without legitimate reasons for being there.
A person is guilty of loitering when he:
Loiters, remains or wanders about in a public place for the purpose of begging.
Loiters or remains in a public place for the purpose of gambling with cards, dice or other gambling paraphernalia.
Loiters or remains in a public place for the purpose of engaging, or soliciting another person to engage, in deviate sexual intercourse or other sexual behavior of a deviate nature.
Being masked or in any manner disguised by unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration, loiters, remains or congregates in a public place with other persons so masked or disguised, or knowingly permits or aids persons so masked or disguised to congregate in a public place; except that such conduct is not unlawful when it occurs in connection with a masquerade party or like entertainment.
Loiters or remains in or about school grounds, not having any reason or relationship involving custody of or responsibility for a pupil or student or any other specific legitimate reason for being there and not having written permission from anyone authorized to grant the same.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punished, upon conviction, by a fine of $250 or imprisonment for a term of 15 days for an offense. Each day that a violation of or failure to comply with any provision of this chapter or any regulations promulgated hereunder by the Town Board occurs shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.