Chapel Hill Town Council to consider temporary public space rules tonight

Staff writerFebruary 13, 2012 

— Public spaces are up for debate tonight in Chapel Hill.

The town council will consider a temporary amendment to the town ordinance that regulates public spaces, like the area in front of the post office on East Franklin Street, deemed Peace and Justice Plaza.

The town suspended its rules for the plaza during the Occupy Chapel Hill-Carrboro encampment there. The group took down its camp last month, but a few tents remain as homeless men camp there.

The temporary ordinance would require a permit to use the plaza and that the permit be available on site. Only nonprofit charitable organizations would be able to use the site.

Permit applications must be submitted two days before an event, and events could only take place between 10 a.m. and midnight. Those using the plaza would have to be 20 feet away from the entrance of the post office or banks and ATMs. Signs would not be allowed on buildings.

Violations of the ordinance would result in a $500 fine.

If the council votes on it tonight, it would become effective immediately.

The council is also considering changes to its towing rules, and consider changes to its affordable housing policy.

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