Feb 12, 2024 - News

🚽 Controversial council vote tonight

Uptown view

Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Charlotte City Council will vote tonight to restore criminal enforcement for public masturbation, urination and defecation, and open containers, among other offenses.

Why it matters: Uptown residents and business owners say problems have worsened in recent years, especially since the main library closed, where many unhoused people used to gather.

Context: In 2021 a state law decriminalized some city ordinance violations. A handful of penalties were reestablished by city council thereafter, but not all.

  • Police indicate they have had limited authority to crack down on lewd acts ever since.

Yes, but: Opponents, including advocacy group Action NC, view the harsher penalties as criminalizing homelessness and poverty.

  • The city is setting up porta potties at North College and 11th streets to address concerns about the lack of public restrooms in center city.

The bottom line: It likely won't be a unanimous vote.

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