Alpharetta adds teeth to disorderly conduct ordinance

Better move along if ordered twice



ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Over the past few years, city officials have committed tens of millions of dollars to improve traffic flow on its streets and highways.

Now, they’re turning their attention to traffic flow on sidewalks.

The City Council voted unanimously to adopt a revised ordinance addressing disorderly conduct, giving police more latitude to ensure pedestrian traffic remains unimpeded. The measure was passed on first reading Monday and will become law if passed on second reading at a meeting later this month.

It’s been 55 years since Alpharetta last touched its ordinance addressing disorderly conduct. And those intervening decades have seen the city grow from a small town with two street lights into a full-fledged destination for tech workers and visitors.

The new ordinance in part makes it unlawful for a person to refuse to clear a path on a street or sidewalk when ordered twice by police.

City Attorney Sam Thomas said that under the existing ordinance, a person could block a sidewalk or street repeatedly if he or she simply moved to another spot after being ordered to “move along.”

The ordinance also outlaws threatening behavior and collecting in places for the purpose of gaming or selling illegal substances.

“What’s on the books now has been there since 1962,” Thomas said. “This is just to modernize it. I think the primary thing is it gives us a little more ability to address people who are impeding the sidewalk or traffic.”

In other action Monday, the City Council:

• Announced that a request for a zoning change to allow townhomes and single-family detached dwellings on a site near the Manning House on Cumming Street has been rescheduled for the July 24 council meeting. Arizona-based homebuilder Taylor Morrison wants to build 40 townhomes and 29 single-family detached dwellings on just under 12 acres northeast of the historic home. The request met with a unanimous denial June 1 at a meeting of the Alpharetta Planning Commission.

In the past several years, the city has approved 280 townhomes within the Downtown Overlay. None have been approved along Cumming Street.

• Approved up to $497,754 for the purchase of 16 vehicles for the Department of Public Safety. The list includes nine Ford Police Interceptor Utilities (Explorers), four Ford F-150 pickups, two Chevrolet Tahoes and one Honda Pilot.

• Awarded a contract of $254,000 to Garland/DBS for roof repairs and wall restoration at multiple city facilities.

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