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Judge Hears Remarks on Charlottesville Panhandling

Nov. 21, 2013

A federal judge has heard the final remarks for a panhandling ordinance.

The City of Charlottesville wants to limit where you can panhandle along the Downtown Mall, creating a buffer area around the intersections where cars cross.

Officials believe panhandling within 50 feet of those areas is a public safety concern.

Attorney Jeffery Fogel believes the city is singling out panhandlers along the Downtown Mall and not including other distractions that face drivers who are crossing through those areas.

"The city has no idea where the number 50 came from," says Fogel. "They never had a discussion about why 50 feet was appropriate, as opposed to 40, 30, 20 or nothing. So the city just pulled this out of a hat, essentially. And the question still remains, why do you allow certain people to engage in the same conduct that could create a public safety issue and prohibit my clients from doing that?"

Fogel believes it will take several months before a decision is made.

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