HOLLAND, MI (WHTC) - Correcting a code that was considered “unenforceable,” the Holland City Council established new parameters for begging in the Tulip City.
Last night, the panel formally approved ordinance amendments dealing with panhandling. From now on, beggars cannot be on private property without permission, or ask for money inside or within a dozen feet of an entrance and exit to a public structure, alley, or bank ATM. They also must back away when a person walks away from them.
According to City Attorney Andrew Mulder, officials were considering these changes when the state’s anti-begging law was virtually struck down last month in a ruling by US District Court Judge Robert Jonker, saying that it violated free speech and equal protection clauses in the US Constitution. Holland’s new ordinance is patterned after the one in place at Indianapolis, one that has survived court challenges.
Also last night, Council allocated 93 hundred dollars for an engineering study into building a new bridge to Windmill Island that could accommodate construction traffic for renovating the DeZwaan windmill.