Scottsdale Considers Ordinance on Public Urination

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane has proposed an amendment to the current city ordinance on public urination. According to Lane, public urination and defecation are commonplace downtown and in the entertainment district between Camelback Road and Indian School Road and Scottsdale Road and Miller Road. Thousands of people reportedly patronize Scottsdale bars and clubs every weekend, and several opt to relieve themselves in public alleyways instead of finding a bathroom.

Public urination and defecation are class 1 misdemeanors in Arizona. The State law charges offenders up to $2,500 for each offense; however offenders frequently avoid paying fines by getting a suspended sentence or a waiver of charges. The new ordinance would impose a mandatory $150 minimum fine that increases to $320 once the State surcharges are included.  Offenders would be required to pay the fine even if they receive a suspended sentence. If convicted, an offender can also be required to pay restitution for the city’s clean-up costs.

The Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale’s Quality of Life supports the new ordinance, calling it “another positive step in the right direction.” This amended ordinance was proposed less than 6 months after the Scottsdale City Council approved an ordinance that imposes fines for littering.

If approved, the amended ordinance would be effective 30 days after being approved.

Photo credit: Dru Bloomfield from Flickr