[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Cohoes 11-27-1990 by Ord. No. 55-1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms have the meanings ascribed:
- Remaining idle in essentially one location and shall include the concept of spending time idly; to be dilatory; to linger; to stay; to saunter; to delay; to stand around and shall also include the colloquial expression "hanging around."
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any place to which the general public has access and a right to resort for business, entertainment or other lawful purpose but does not necessarily mean a place devoted solely to the uses of the public. It shall also include the front or immediate area of any store, shop, restaurant, tavern or other place of business and also public grounds, areas or parks.
There have been numerous citizen complaints directed to the Mayor and City Council members and other local officials concerning the incidence of persons gathering in the public areas of the city without a legitimate reason for being there. Investigation of these complaints has resulted in the finding that in the places complained of, extremely large quantities of refuse, empty beverage containers and other litter have accumulated. In addition, it has been recognized and reported that such illegitimate gatherings have discouraged citizens from legitimate utilization of these areas.
The complaints received and the investigations show that such illegitimate gatherings very often are participated in by very large groups of people and are associated with noise, yelling, often of an obscene nature, fighting and rowdiness in addition to litter.
It is also found that where this kind 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 shall be unlawful for any person to loiter, loaf, wander, stand or remain idle either alone and/or in consort with others in a public place:
In such a manner as to obstruct any public street, public highway, public sidewalk or any other public place or building by hindering or impeding or tending to hinder or impede the free and uninterrupted passage of vehicles, traffic or pedestrians.
In such a manner as to commit in or upon any public street, public highway, public sidewalk or any other public place of building any act or thing which is an obstruction or interference to the free and uninterrupted use of property or with any business lawfully conducted by anyone in or upon or facing or fronting on any such public street, public highway, public sidewalk or any other public place or building, all of which prevents the free and uninterrupted ingress, egress and regress therein, thereon and thereto.
For the purpose of engaging in any activity prohibited by law.
Within 100 feet of any tavern, bar or store engaged in the sale of alcoholic beverages, for either on-premises or off-premises consumption, between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
When any person causes or commits any of the conditions enumerated herein, a police officer or any law enforcement officer shall order that person to stop causing or committing such conditions and to move on or disperse. Any person who fails or refuses to obey such orders shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter.
A gathering of persons shall not be considered to be guilty of loitering if it has a legitimate purpose for being in the public place or shopping center.
Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit orderly picketing or other lawful assembly.
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment of not more than 15 days, or both. Each such violation shall constitute a separate offense.