RPB OKs Trespassing Ordinance For Parks And Natural Areas

The Royal Palm Beach Village Council approved the first reading of an ordinance Thursday, Oct. 15 that would control trespassing in village parks and natural areas.

Village Manager Ray Liggins said the ordinance would enable the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to give warnings to trespassers who commit crimes in parks and natural areas.

“They would not be allowed on the property for a year,” Liggins said. “The second trespass notice would be for up to five years that the people would be prohibited from being on the property, and the third time would be for up to 10 years.”

He said there would be an appeals process through the special magistrate.

“There also is an opportunity if people want to be on that property that they were not allowed to be on for purposes of their First Amendment rights, they can get permission from the village to do that for that period of time,” Liggins said, adding that the purpose of the ordinance is to assist in the prevention of trespassing, if needed.

Councilman Richard Valuntas asked if the ordinance is similar to business trespassing ordinances to prevent loiterers, and Village Attorney Keith Davis said the parks and natural areas ordinance would help enforce existing criminal violations on public property.

“There’s a whole list of criminal offenses, and if somebody commits one of those on village property, that would trigger either a warning for trespass, or depending on the circumstances, a one-year ban and so forth. So, the trigger in this case is not, ‘We don’t want the people on the property.’ They’ve committed a criminal offense on the property.”

Davis explained that in an appeal, the village would have to establish that the criminal offense did occur.

Valuntas made a motion to approve the ordinance, which carried 5-0.

In other business, the council approved the final reading of an ordinance that would regulate solicitation and distribution on village roads.

Village Manager Ray Liggins said the ordinance would regulate the solicitation, distribution and sale of any merchandise, goods, property or services, as well as the solicitation for charitable services, on public roads.

“It is consistent with the county ordinance and will be enforced by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office,” Liggins said.

Councilman Jeff Hmara made a motion to approve the ordinance, which carried 5-0.