Aggressive solicitors, including those asking for money, will be banned from private property and private parking lots if the owner or tenant asks them to leave or posts a sign prohibiting the practice.
That was the unanimous decision of the city council on Tuesday when members added an amendment to an ordinance adopted last year that focused on panhandling at the Galt Market.
However, the council members said the issue has spread to other areas including both the Raley's and Save Mart shopping centers, and they were afraid such actions could become violent or dangerous.
"Aggressive soliciting is ... asking for money when people might feel intimidated," City Attorney Stephen Rudolph said. "(The ordinance) would now include private parking lots."
Councilman Mike Singleton first brought up the issue earlier this year when he said he saw an increase in aggressive panhandling. Both city council members and City Manager Jason Behrmann said they've been approached while sitting in their cars or entering local grocery stores.
Singleton, fellow Councilman Randy Shelton and Police Chief William Bowen recently met with the city's public safety committee to discuss how to get the word out that aggressive panhandling in Galt is not OK.
"I've talked to a number of businesses, and they're already seeing a change," Singleton said Tuesday.
The amendment goes into effect in 30 days. It will be added to the city's current ordinance, a three-page document addresses solicitation of money near business entrances and ATMs, within a public parking lot, near an outdoor dining area and on buses.
The first violation comes with a $100 fine.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at email@example.com.