ORDINANCE NO. 458
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING TITLE 9 OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE TO ADD REGULATIONS GOVERNING PICKETING IN RESIDENTIAL ZONES IN THE CITY.
WHEREAS, residential picketing that is targeted at a particular residence is a phenomenon that is harmful to the public health, safety and welfare, and must be limited; and
WHEREAS, picketing at or near the borders of a private residence, directed at the inhabitants of the residence is a disfavored activity that is not entitled to a high level of First Amendment protection, according to decisions by State and Federal courts; and
WHEREAS, unreasonably noisy picketing at or near the borders of a private residence, using noise directed at the inhabitants of the residence for the purpose of threatening and harassing such inhabitants, is a disfavored activity that is not entitled to a high level of First Amendment protection, according to decisions by State and Federal courts; and
WHEREAS, picketing that is directed at particular individual homes and picketing that is unreasonably noisy and is intended to harass and intimidate the occupants, are inherently and unreasonably offensive to and intrusive upon the right to privacy in one’s home; and
WHEREAS, a 300-foot “buffer zone” as established herein, creates a minimum zone of protection for residents from unwanted harassment and intimidation, but does not prevent picketers from disseminating their message to the general public or to local residents, from a lawful distance; and
WHEREAS, in adopting this ordinance, it is the intent of the City Council to protect what the courts have called the “captive audience” inside the targeted homes; however, the City Council does not intend to stifle any speech that is protected by the First Amendment; and
WHEREAS, the prohibitions and buffer zones adopted herein leave open ample alternative avenues for communicating messages and ideas by those who wish to picket or protest in the City;
NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. Title 9 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding new Chapter 9.32, entitled “Residential Picketing,” thereto, to read as follows:
“9.32 Residential Picketing
The following words and phrases, whenever used in this Chapter shall be construed as defined in this Section, except where the context clearly requires otherwise:
A. The term “residential dwelling” shall mean any permanent building being used by its occupants solely for non-transient residential uses.
B. The term “picketing activity” shall mean the demonstration by one or more persons to protest the activities or policies of a person or entity.
C. The phrase “picketing activity that is targeted at” shall mean picketing activity that is targeted at a particular residential dwelling and proceeds on a definite course or route in front of or around that particular residential dwelling.
“9.32.030 Targeted Residential Picketing Prohibited.
A. No person shall engage in picketing activity that is targeted at and is within three hundred feet of a particular residential dwelling.
B. This chapter does not and shall not be interpreted to preclude picketing in a residential area that is not targeted at a particular residential dwelling.
“9.32.040 Loud and Raucous Noise Prohibited.
No person shall willfully make or cause to be made any loud and raucous noise at or within 300 feet of any residence in the City which is intended to harass, threaten or intimidate any person living therein.
“9.32.050 Remedies Not Exclusive.
The remedies provided by this Chapter are in addition to any other legal or equitable remedies any aggrieved person may have and are not intended to be exclusive.
A violation of this Chapter is punishable pursuant to Section 1.08.010 of the Municipal Code.”
SECTION 2. If any section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this Ordinance, or the application thereof to any person or place, is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this Ordinance. The City Council hereby declares that it would have adopted this Ordinance, and each and every section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, subdivisions, sentences, clauses, phrases, or portions thereof be declared invalid or unconstitutional.
/s/ Thomas D. Long
/s/ Carla Morreale
State of California )
I, Carla Morreale, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, do hereby certify that the whole number of members of the City Council of said City is five; that the foregoing Ordinance No. 458 passed first reading on May 15, 2007, was duly and regularly adopted by the City Council of said City at a regular meeting thereof held on May 29, 2007, and that the same was passed and adopted by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Stern, and Mayor Long