The City of Santa Cruz has instigated a variety of city ordinances which are enforced to varying degrees. These ordinances were enacted by the Santa Cruz City Council and none of them were voted on by citizens.
The complete Municipal Code for the City of Santa Cruz is located at:
- Alcohol Ordinances
- Sleep & Camping Ordinances
- Dog Ordinances
- Downtown Ordinances
- Noise Ordinances
- Ordinances Governing Conduct in Parking Lots
- Panhandling Ordinances
- Sit-Lie Ordinances
Who Enforces these Municipal Codes?
Enforcement occurs in various degrees. Downtown Hosts, who are individuals employed by the city, often wander up and down Pacific Avenue politely enforcing various codes and regulations. Many times these hosts look like regular people just window shopping, but they can often be identified by a city monogram on their jackets, and in general they wear blue and yellow uniforms. They tend to be friendly when enforcing regulations, unless you resist or give them sass.
Officers from the Santa Cruz Police Department also appear downtown frequently, whether cruising on bikes or foot, responding to a call. Police tend to be less friendly and have the power (and firepower) to respond with force if the need arises. They also have the ability to fine and ticket you (with charges of either an infraction, or more seriously, a misdemeanor).
Additionally, business owners and employees can enforce regulations when they are directly affected by panhandling (for instance, if they feel that their business is being compromised, if the person is causing an obstruction to people entering the business, or if they believe someone is being a nuisance). Usually they will just tell you to scram, and if you don't, they can call the police on you.
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