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Ithaca Times: Common Council votes to downzone West State Street

Ithaca Times: Common Council votes to downzone West State Street

Alderperson Ducson Nguyen, who stood firmly against the resolution, spoke on how the new zoning could prove to be detrimental to the future prosperity of Ithaca’s downtown core.

“Progressive cities all over the country are going up while we’re going down,” Nguyen said. “Downzoning by one story doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s a regressive move out of touch with our needs for housing and sustainability. It associates height with neighborhood character rather than the people who live and work there. This downzoning doesn’t prevent the demolition of the buildings my colleagues are worried about, which only historic designation would protect, and ignores that W. MLK St. is a part of the urban core.”

Nguyen was disappointed in how the vote turned out, as was Smith. Smith echoed Nguyen’s comments as he remarked that the vote discouraged growth in the city’s downtown center.

I oppose downzoning West MLK Street

On the July 3, 2019 Common Council agenda, there’s an item (10.7) that came out of the Planning and Economic Development Committee to downzone the 300, 400, and 500 blocks of West MLK/State Street by reducing the maximum height from 6 stories to 5 stories and limiting the first 15 feet of a building to 3 stories.

The affected blocks

I can support sections 1 and 2: minimum floor heights and adjusting maximum heights to account for it. I think the concept of a stepback that provides access to additional light and a feeling of greater intimacy to a building is reasonable too. It’s the rest I’m concerned about:

  • The zoning has been in place for 6 years and we’ve seen no new development on W MLK and only one proposal
  • I don’t support downzoning in general, and certainly not in the central core of the city (more on that later)
  • The 3-story height limit at the street (the stepback) is more restrictive than the Commons
  • Downzoning from 6 stories to 5 stories leaves projects in a financial gap that makes many of them infeasible or forces them to be luxury units to recoup the cost (crossing a combination of code and construction technique thresholds when you go past 3 stories adds a ton of cost). This may be a de facto downzone to 3 stories which I oppose even more vehemently.
  • Downzoning does not address the design issue of Visum’s single sprawling building that touches 3 street fronts (and referencing the previous point, may make that affordable housing project infeasible altogether)
  • PUDs (Planned Unit Developments) should be exceptional and not a substitute for appropriate zoning
Illustration of proposed amendment to Section 325-8D that would lower the maximum height and require a 15′ stepback with 32′ maximum height

Given those misgivings, I will move a few changes to 10.7C on Wednesday:

  • Remove section 3 (i.e., do not downzone the blocks on the map from CBD-60 to CBD-50)
  • Change 32’ maximum height at the stepback to 42’ (i.e., four stories)
  • Set a maximum facade length at the street of 60 feet
  • Set a maximum building footprint of 7200 square feet (roughly the mid-block lot depth on those blocks of 120’ multiplied by 60’ maximum width)

Those last two points are more form-based approaches to zoning inspired a bit by the Collegetown Area Form Districts. The specific numbers would obviously need to be vetted and can be adjusted. The maximum footprint would force Visum’s project to be 3 separate buildings. 

I’m an adamant anti-sprawler, and allowing density in the CBD is the bare minimum to achieve that. The W MLK corridor is perfect for it. Keep in the mind the entire CIITAP density district is by my calculation only 0.29 square miles or 5.4% of all the land in the city’s boundaries. Add the tenth of a square mile that the Collegetown Area Form Districts cover and we’re still only at 7.2% of the city’s land. Change in this city is very tightly contained (which I don’t necessarily agree with, but hey, baby steps). 

That doesn’t mean I’m immune to concerns about losing some of the charming buildings in that corridor. What’s charming about them, though? Like the older buildings on the Commons they have relatively narrow facades (the Cigar Factory might be the widest at around 65’), human-scale 4 or fewer story heights at the street, basic rectangular shapes, and moderate footprints. I think the form-based part of my suggestion can address that.

Without my proposed changes or something substantively similar to them, I will be voting against downzoning this vital and active artery in the city’s urban core. We need more housing and building up is more sustainable than building out. I also want to shatter assumptions many people have that a 3-story building is inherently more attractive than a 6+ story building. I just don’t agree and beyond aesthetics I think it’s a harmful stereotype when our housing needs are so great.

Zoning is an arcane but vitally important issue that I’ll be expanding upon with strong and not always popular opinions in the coming months.

Condemning Violence and Hate Speech

In response to mass shootings against mosques in a terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, I worked with Mahmud Burton, president of the Al-Huda Islamic Center to write a resolution condemning hate, particularly towards the Muslim community.

Status: Passed April 3, 2019

Resolution Condemning Violence and Hate Speech

WHEREAS the City of Ithaca’s Diversity Statement declares that “we will strive to learn about diversity; educate city employees, members of boards and committees and other volunteers; and promote acceptance of the differences of others within our workforce and our community”; and

WHEREAS white supremacists in the United States continue to promote bigotry and hatred, targeting traditionally persecuted peoples, including but not limited African Americans, Latinx people, Indigenous people, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, LGBTQA persons, and immigrants; and

WHEREAS in 2017 the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported a 37 percent increase in hate crimes against Jews or Jewish institutions and found that attacks against Jews or Jewish institutions made up 58.1 percent of all religious-based hate crimes; and

WHEREAS on October 27, 2018, the perpetrator of the deadliest attack on Jewish people in the history of the United States killed 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue building in Pittsburgh; and

WHEREAS the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that hate crimes against Muslims or Muslim institutions in the United States increased by over 99 percent between 2014 and 2016; and

WHEREAS in 2017, mosques were bombed in Bloomington, Minnesota and burned in Austin, Texas, Victoria, Texas, Bellevue, Washington, and Thonotosassa, Florida, and mass attacks on Muslim communities were planned against communities in Jacksonville, Florida in 2017, Garden City, Kansas in 2016, and Islamberg, New York in 2015 and 2019; and

WHEREAS on March 15, 2019 a white supremacist murdered 50 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in the deadliest mass shooting that country has ever seen; and

WHEREAS watchdog groups have observed a sharp rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes following the New Zealand massacre, including those that reference the attack; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED that Common Council will continue to advocate for strong gun safety laws in New York State and the United States; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Common Council condemns acts and statements that are anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, racist, sexist, and of any form of bigotry; and be it further

RESOLVED that Common Council commits to pursuing a policy agenda that affirms civil and human rights, and ensures that those targeted on the basis of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, or immigration status can turn to government without fear of recrimination; and be it further

RESOLVED that the City of Ithaca calls upon its state and national leaders to set an example of rationality, compassion, and nonviolence through their words and actions.

Ithaca Times: Best Common Councilor 2018

https://www.ithaca.com/special_sections/best_of_ithaca/best-of-ithaca-people/article_6a3fa180-c27d-11e8-b9a3-83c0ed104cfe.html

Ducson Nguyen, now in his third year of representing the Second Ward, came to Ithaca from New Jersey after his wife got a job at Tompkins Cortland Community College. He said he first became interested in Common Council candidacy as a result of the housing shortage and wanting to push for transportation reform, and is now working on abandoned shopping-cart legislation, as well as trying to make the budget more easily accessible and understandable to normal citizens.

“I greatly appreciate it,” Nguyen said. “But my colleagues do just as much as I do and even in my third year I feel like I’m constantly finding out how little I know. But mostly it makes me think, ‘I love you too, Ithaca.’”

Shopping Carts

In response to concerns from residents regarding abandoned shopping carts throughout the city (mostly downtown), I took draft legislation written by former Alderperson Eddie Rooker and working with City Forester Jeanne Grace (whose department somehow ends up dealing with abandoned shopping carts), revised it to address longstanding frustrations she’s had with shopping cart management.

Highlights of the code changes include:

  • Shopping carts must identify the owner of the shopping cart 
  • Owners who provide more than 25 shopping carts to customers must display on their carts a phone number for initiating retrieval of the cart
  • Owners with more than 25 shopping carts must have a containment program (e.g.: wheel locks, deposit, security guard) and retrieval service for shopping carts
  • Owners with more than 25 shopping carts must display warnings on the premises about unauthorized shopping cart removal and a phone number for shopping cart retrieval
  • The City’s Department of Public Works may seize shopping carts and return them to the shopping cart owner at a fine of $50 per cart per day after the owner has been notified

Status: Under study by Community Life Commission

An ordinance repealing and replacing the text of Chapter 268, “Shopping Carts.”

WHEREAS the City of Ithaca has a legitimate government interest in preventing the proliferation of abandoned shopping carts within its boundaries;

WHEREAS Chapter 268 of the City of Ithaca Municipal Code, “Shopping Carts,” establishes regulations, standards, and fines intended to act as a reasonable deterrent to the problem of abandoned shopping carts;

WHEREAS Common Council and city staff have identified changes to Chapter 268 that are believed to better promote the goals of this Chapter in a more efficient and effective manner; and now therefore

BE IT ORDAINED AND ENACTED by the Common Council of the City of Ithaca as follow:

Section 1. Findings of Fact.

The Common Council finds that:

  1. Abandoned shopping carts create potential hazard to health and safety of the public, and interfere with pedestrian and vehicular traffic, and the accumulation of abandoned carts on public and private property create conditions that reduce property values, promote blight and deterioration, and result in a public nuisance.
  2. Owners of shopping carts should develop programs that contain their shopping carts on their respective business premises and be held responsible for failing to do so.
  3. It is, therefore, desirous to replace the text of Chapter 268 with updated regulations that will require such programs and enable adequate enforcement, thereby better combating the nuisance and blight created by abandoned shopping carts.

Section 2. Amendment of Chapter 268, “Shopping Carts.”

The text of Chapter 268, entitled “Shopping Carts,” of the City of Ithaca Municipal Code is hereby repealed in its entirety and replaced with the following:

§ 268-1 Definitions.

For purposes of this Chapter only, and unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, the words, terms and phrases set forth in this Section are defined as follows:

A. “Business premises” means the interior of a shopping cart owner’s commercial establishment, adjacent walkways, any loading area, and the parking area, as defined herein.

B.  “Shopping cart identification sign” means a sign or engraved surface which is permanently affixed to a shopping cart containing all of the information specified in Section 268-2 of this Chapter.

C.  “Shopping cart removal warning” means a placard, sign or painted text which meets the requirements of Section 268-4 of this Chapter.

D.  “Shopping cart owner” means the owner or operator of a commercial establishment which provides shopping carts for use by its customers for the purpose of transporting goods of any kind.

E.  “Shopping cart containment program” means one or more of the following measures:

1.   Disabling devices on all shopping carts which prevent them from being removed from the business premises by locking the wheels or otherwise preventing the movement of the shopping carts.

2.   An on-site security guard to deter customers who attempt to remove shopping carts from the business premises.

3.   Obtaining a security deposit from customers for the on-site use of shopping carts. 

5.   Any other measure approved by the Superintendent of Public Works as a means to contain shopping carts on premises. A shopping cart owner may appeal a measure disapproved by the Superintendent of Public Works to the Board of Public Works for a final determination.

G. “Shopping cart retrieval service” means contracting with a third-party or establishing an internal mechanism that will both actively locate shopping carts within a one-mile radius of the cart owner’s business premises and respond to complaints from the public in a manner which results in the retrieval of shopping carts within twenty-four (24) hours after receiving complaints.

F. “Parking area” means a parking lot or other property provided by a commercial establishment for use by a customer for parking an automobile or other vehicle. In a multi-store complex or shopping center, “parking area” includes the entire parking area used by or controlled by the complex or center.

H.  “Shopping cart” means a basket which is mounted on wheels or a similar device provided by the operator of a commercial establishment for the use of customers for the purpose of transporting goods of any kind. A shopping cart sold by a commercial establishment to a retail customer for that customer’s personal use is not a shopping cart for the purposes of this Chapter.

I.    “Abandoned” means not in the physical possession of a shopping cart owner or a customer of a shopping cart owner with written permission from the shopping cart owner as specified in Section 268-6 of this Chapter. 

§ 268-2 Shopping cart identification signs for shopping carts.

A.  Every person who owns or makes available to the public in connection with the conduct of business and trade any shopping cart shall mark it or cause the same to be marked and identified conspicuously with the name of the shopping cart owner.  Every shopping cart owner with more than twenty-five (25) shopping carts shall also mark or cause the cart to be conspicuously marked to provide a name and local or toll-free telephone number of a party that is responsible for retrieval of the shopping cart. 

B.  It shall be the responsibility of each shopping cart owner to comply with Subsection (A) of this Section, and to continuously maintain, or cause to be maintained, the shopping cart identification sign so that all of the required information is accurate and clearly legible.

§ 268-3 Shopping cart containment program.

A. Every owner who provides more than twenty-five (25) shopping carts to their customers shall operate and maintain a shopping cart containment program as defined in Section 268-1 of this Chapter and shall provide a shopping cart retrieval service for any shopping carts found abandoned off of business premises.

B. Each shopping cart owner must provide the Superintendent of Public Works with the contact information for its shopping cart retrieval service.

C.  Each shopping cart owner must contain all shopping carts on the business premises at all times.

D.  Any instance in which a shopping cart owned or provided by a shopping cart owner is found abandoned off of the business premises shall be considered a violation of Subsection (C) of this Section by the shopping cart owner.

1.   Following the discovery or report of an abandoned shopping cart the Superintendent of Public Works, or his agent shall contact the shopping cart owner’s shopping cart retrieval service to provide notice of the violation and the location of the abandoned shopping cart.

2.   Each twenty-four (24) hour period that the shopping cart remains off the business premises following notice to the shopping cart owner shall be considered a separate violation of Subsection (C) of this Section.

3.   Fines shall be assessed at fifty dollars ($50) for each violation of Subsection (C) of this Section, with the first violation occurring on the discovery of an abandoned shopping cart and additional violations occurring each day the shopping cart remains off the business premises after notice of such abandoned shopping cart has been provided to the shopping cart owner.

E.  No shopping cart containment program shall be required where the owner offers the rental or sale of utility shopping carts that can be temporarily or permanently used for the transport of goods, but only so long as all shopping carts on the business premises are offered only on rental or sales terms, and not without charge.

§ 268-4 Shopping cart removal warnings.

Every owner who provides more than twenty-five (25) shopping carts shall prominently and conspicuously post and maintain shopping cart removal warnings at all entrances and exits to the shopping cart owner’s premises, including parking areas. Such warnings shall meet all of the following minimum specifications:

A.  Contain a statement to the effect that unauthorized removal of a shopping cart from the business premises, or possession of a shopping cart in a location other than on the business premises, is a violation of State and City law.

B.  List a local or toll-free telephone number for shopping cart retrieval.

C.  Be affixed to an interior wall of the building or otherwise permanently and prominently displayed within two (2) feet of all customer entrances and exits.

§ 268-5 Employee training–shopping cart removal prevention.

Each cart owner shall conduct ongoing employee training to educate new and existing employees about procedures to prevent cart removal, including the operation of the shopping cart containment system.

§ 268-6 Shopping cart removal from business premises–written permission required.

No person shall be deemed to be authorized to remove a shopping cart unless he or she possesses written authorization from the shopping cart owner. This section shall not apply the possession of a shopping cart removed from the business premises at the direction of the shopping cart owner for the purposes of repair or maintenance.

§ 268-7 Removal and possession unlawful.

It shall be unlawful for any person or his/her agent or employee to take, remove or possess any shopping cart beyond the premises of the identified owner of the shopping cart without the written permission of the identified owner.

§ 268-8 Removal and disposal of abandoned shopping carts.

A.  Removal.  The Superintendent of Public Works is hereby authorized to seize and remove or cause to be removed any abandoned shopping cart within the city from any public place without notice and from any private premises with the consent of the owner of the premises and shall take or cause the same to be returned to the shopping cart owner with notice of fine pursuant to Subsection 268-3(D) of this Chapter. The Superintendent of Public Works is authorized to call upon other city agencies or departments to assist in enforcement of this section.

B.  Disposal of unclaimed property.  When an abandoned shopping cart not containing identification of ownership as required herein is removed under Subsection (A) of this Section, the Superintendent of Public Works may dispose of the shopping cart as they see fit.  All proceeds from the disposal of abandoned shopping carts shall be deposited to the general fund of the city.

§ 268-9 Remedy not exclusive.

Nothing herein is intended to limit the city from pursuing any other remedy available at law or in equity against any person or entity maintaining, committing, or causing a public or private nuisance or any other violation of the City Code or of State or Federal law.

Section 3. Notice to affected businesses.

The City shall make reasonable efforts to notify affected businesses by mail of the aforementioned changes to Chapter 268 of the City of Ithaca Municipal Code, provided, however, that non-receipt of said notice shall not constitute a defense to any violation of this Chapter.

Section 4. Severability Clause.  

Severability is intended throughout and within the provisions of this ordinance. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this ordinance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, then that decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance.

Section 5. Effective Date.

This ordinance shall take effect January 1, 2019 in accordance with law upon publication of notices as provided in the Ithaca City Charter.

An ordinance repealing and replacing the text of Chapter 268, “Shopping Carts.”

WHEREAS the City of Ithaca has a legitimate government interest in preventing the proliferation of abandoned shopping carts within its boundaries;

WHEREAS Chapter 268 of the City of Ithaca Municipal Code, “Shopping Carts,” establishes regulations, standards, and fines intended to act as a reasonable deterrent to the problem of abandoned shopping carts;

WHEREAS Common Council and city staff have identified changes to Chapter 268 that are believed to better promote the goals of this Chapter in a more efficient and effective manner; and now therefore

BE IT ORDAINED AND ENACTED by the Common Council of the City of Ithaca as follow:

Section 1. Findings of Fact.

The Common Council finds that:

  1. Abandoned shopping carts create potential hazard to health and safety of the public, and interfere with pedestrian and vehicular traffic, and the accumulation of abandoned carts on public and private property create conditions that reduce property values, promote blight and deterioration, and result in a public nuisance.
  2. Owners of shopping carts should develop programs that contain their shopping carts on their respective business premises and be held responsible for failing to do so.
  3. It is, therefore, desirous to replace the text of Chapter 268 with updated regulations that will require such programs and enable adequate enforcement, thereby better combating the nuisance and blight created by abandoned shopping carts.

Section 2. Amendment of Chapter 268, “Shopping Carts.”

The text of Chapter 268, entitled “Shopping Carts,” of the City of Ithaca Municipal Code is hereby repealed in its entirety and replaced with the following:

§ 268-1 Definitions.

For purposes of this Chapter only, and unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, the words, terms and phrases set forth in this Section are defined as follows:

A. “Business premises” means the interior of a shopping cart owner’s commercial establishment, adjacent walkways, any loading area, and the parking area, as defined herein.

B.  “Shopping cart identification sign” means a sign or engraved surface which is permanently affixed to a shopping cart containing all of the information specified in Section 268-2 of this Chapter.

C.  “Shopping cart removal warning” means a placard, sign or painted text which meets the requirements of Section 268-4 of this Chapter.

D.  “Shopping cart owner” means the owner or operator of a commercial establishment which provides shopping carts for use by its customers for the purpose of transporting goods of any kind.

E.  “Shopping cart containment program” means one or more of the following measures:

1.   Disabling devices on all shopping carts which prevent them from being removed from the business premises by locking the wheels or otherwise preventing the movement of the shopping carts.

2.   An on-site security guard to deter customers who attempt to remove shopping carts from the business premises.

3.   Obtaining a security deposit from customers for the on-site use of shopping carts. 

5.   Any other measure approved by the Superintendent of Public Works as a means to contain shopping carts on premises. A shopping cart owner may appeal a measure disapproved by the Superintendent of Public Works to the Board of Public Works for a final determination.

G. “Shopping cart retrieval service” means contracting with a third-party or establishing an internal mechanism that will both actively locate shopping carts within a one-mile radius of the cart owner’s business premises and respond to complaints from the public in a manner which results in the retrieval of shopping carts within twenty-four (24) hours after receiving complaints.

F. “Parking area” means a parking lot or other property provided by a commercial establishment for use by a customer for parking an automobile or other vehicle. In a multi-store complex or shopping center, “parking area” includes the entire parking area used by or controlled by the complex or center.

H.  “Shopping cart” means a basket which is mounted on wheels or a similar device provided by the operator of a commercial establishment for the use of customers for the purpose of transporting goods of any kind. A shopping cart sold by a commercial establishment to a retail customer for that customer’s personal use is not a shopping cart for the purposes of this Chapter.

I.    “Abandoned” means not in the physical possession of a shopping cart owner or a customer of a shopping cart owner with written permission from the shopping cart owner as specified in Section 268-6 of this Chapter. 

§ 268-2 Shopping cart identification signs for shopping carts.

A.  Every person who owns or makes available to the public in connection with the conduct of business and trade any shopping cart shall mark it or cause the same to be marked and identified conspicuously with the name of the shopping cart owner.  Every shopping cart owner with more than twenty-five (25) shopping carts shall also mark or cause the cart to be conspicuously marked to provide a name and local or toll-free telephone number of a party that is responsible for retrieval of the shopping cart. 

B.  It shall be the responsibility of each shopping cart owner to comply with Subsection (A) of this Section, and to continuously maintain, or cause to be maintained, the shopping cart identification sign so that all of the required information is accurate and clearly legible.

§ 268-3 Shopping cart containment program.

A. Every owner who provides more than twenty-five (25) shopping carts to their customers shall operate and maintain a shopping cart containment program as defined in Section 268-1 of this Chapter and shall provide a shopping cart retrieval service for any shopping carts found abandoned off of business premises.

B. Each shopping cart owner must provide the Superintendent of Public Works with the contact information for its shopping cart retrieval service.

C.  Each shopping cart owner must contain all shopping carts on the business premises at all times.

D.  Any instance in which a shopping cart owned or provided by a shopping cart owner is found abandoned off of the business premises shall be considered a violation of Subsection (C) of this Section by the shopping cart owner.

1.   Following the discovery or report of an abandoned shopping cart the Superintendent of Public Works, or his agent shall contact the shopping cart owner’s shopping cart retrieval service to provide notice of the violation and the location of the abandoned shopping cart.

2.   Each twenty-four (24) hour period that the shopping cart remains off the business premises following notice to the shopping cart owner shall be considered a separate violation of Subsection (C) of this Section.

3.   Fines shall be assessed at fifty dollars ($50) for each violation of Subsection (C) of this Section, with the first violation occurring on the discovery of an abandoned shopping cart and additional violations occurring each day the shopping cart remains off the business premises after notice of such abandoned shopping cart has been provided to the shopping cart owner.

E.  No shopping cart containment program shall be required where the owner offers the rental or sale of utility shopping carts that can be temporarily or permanently used for the transport of goods, but only so long as all shopping carts on the business premises are offered only on rental or sales terms, and not without charge.

§ 268-4 Shopping cart removal warnings.

Every owner who provides more than twenty-five (25) shopping carts shall prominently and conspicuously post and maintain shopping cart removal warnings at all entrances and exits to the shopping cart owner’s premises, including parking areas. Such warnings shall meet all of the following minimum specifications:

A.  Contain a statement to the effect that unauthorized removal of a shopping cart from the business premises, or possession of a shopping cart in a location other than on the business premises, is a violation of State and City law.

B.  List a local or toll-free telephone number for shopping cart retrieval.

C.  Be affixed to an interior wall of the building or otherwise permanently and prominently displayed within two (2) feet of all customer entrances and exits.

§ 268-5 Employee training–shopping cart removal prevention.

Each cart owner shall conduct ongoing employee training to educate new and existing employees about procedures to prevent cart removal, including the operation of the shopping cart containment system.

§ 268-6 Shopping cart removal from business premises–written permission required.

No person shall be deemed to be authorized to remove a shopping cart unless he or she possesses written authorization from the shopping cart owner. This section shall not apply the possession of a shopping cart removed from the business premises at the direction of the shopping cart owner for the purposes of repair or maintenance.

§ 268-7 Removal and possession unlawful.

It shall be unlawful for any person or his/her agent or employee to take, remove or possess any shopping cart beyond the premises of the identified owner of the shopping cart without the written permission of the identified owner.

§ 268-8 Removal and disposal of abandoned shopping carts.

A.  Removal.  The Superintendent of Public Works is hereby authorized to seize and remove or cause to be removed any abandoned shopping cart within the city from any public place without notice and from any private premises with the consent of the owner of the premises and shall take or cause the same to be returned to the shopping cart owner with notice of fine pursuant to Subsection 268-3(D) of this Chapter. The Superintendent of Public Works is authorized to call upon other city agencies or departments to assist in enforcement of this section.

B.  Disposal of unclaimed property.  When an abandoned shopping cart not containing identification of ownership as required herein is removed under Subsection (A) of this Section, the Superintendent of Public Works may dispose of the shopping cart as they see fit.  All proceeds from the disposal of abandoned shopping carts shall be deposited to the general fund of the city.

§ 268-9 Remedy not exclusive.

Nothing herein is intended to limit the city from pursuing any other remedy available at law or in equity against any person or entity maintaining, committing, or causing a public or private nuisance or any other violation of the City Code or of State or Federal law.

Section 3. Notice to affected businesses.

The City shall make reasonable efforts to notify affected businesses by mail of the aforementioned changes to Chapter 268 of the City of Ithaca Municipal Code, provided, however, that non-receipt of said notice shall not constitute a defense to any violation of this Chapter.

Section 4. Severability Clause.  

Severability is intended throughout and within the provisions of this ordinance. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this ordinance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, then that decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance.

Section 5. Effective Date.

This ordinance shall take effect January 1, 2019 in accordance with law upon publication of notices as provided in the Ithaca City Charter.

Recognizing the Second Monday of October as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”

Recognizing that the City of Ithaca rests upon Haudenosaunee land, this ordinance removes all references of Columbus Day from city code and instead recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ Day. I worked with Cayuga Nation leaders, the city’s Director of Human Resources, and the city attorney to write this legislation.

Status: Passed September 6, 2017

An Ordinance to Recognize the Second Monday of October as “Indigenous
Peoples’ Day” and to Amend the City Code to Reflect That Change

WHEREAS the City of Ithaca (the “City”) recognizes that the Indigenous Peoples of the lands now known as the Americas have occupied these lands since time immemorial; and

WHEREAS the City recognizes that Ithaca is built upon the homelands, villages, and burial grounds of the Indigenous peoples of the Cayuga Nation and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy; and

WHEREAS, the City acknowledges that on November 11, 1794, the (New York) Cayuga Nation along with the other Haudenosaunee Nations signed the Treaty of Canandaigua with the United States, by which they ceded much of their lands to the United States; and

WHEREAS the City values the many contributions made to this community through Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge, labor, technology, science, philosophy, arts, and the deep cultural contribution that has helped shape the character of the community; and

WHEREAS the City promotes equality for all Indigenous Peoples and honors our nation’s indigenous heritage, history, and contributions; and

WHEREAS the City is committed, through its diversity statement and anti-discrimination policies, to promote an environment where all may achieve their full potential; and

WHEREAS Indigenous Peoples’ Day was proposed in 1977 at the United Nations-sponsored International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas to promote Native American culture and commemorate the history of Native American peoples; now therefore

BE IT ORDAINED AND ENACTED by the Common Council of the City of Ithaca as follows:

Section 1. Findings of Fact.

The Common Council finds that:

  1. The City currently recognizes the second Monday of October as “Columbus Day.”
  2. It is desirous for the City to now recognize the second Monday of October as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” for the reasons described above.

Section 2. Recognition of “Indigenous Peoples Day” and Amendment of § 346-1(B), “Holidays.”

On the second Monday in October, the City shall recognize “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” and shall encourage the celebration of this day in a manner that promotes respect, understanding, and friendship; combats prejudice and bias; works to eliminate discrimination stemming from colonization; and acknowledges our history.

As such, the definition of “Holidays,” set forth in subsection 346-1(B) the City of Ithaca Municipal Code, is hereby amended as follows:

New Year’s Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day,Columbus Day Indigenous Peoples Day (second Monday in October), Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Section 3. Severability Clause. 

Severability is intended throughout and within the provisions of this ordinance. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this ordinance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, then that decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance.

Section 4. Effective Date.

This ordinance shall take effect immediately and in accordance with law upon publication of notices as provided in the Ithaca City Charter.

Ithaca Voice: Ithaca now a Sanctuary City with some teeth

Ithaca Voice: Ithaca now a Sanctuary City with some teeth

Alderman Ducson Nguyen, 2nd Ward, supported the ordinance saying, “It is deeply personal to me. I know you all know my parents are refugees.”

He said the first few days of Donald Trump’s presidency — which has so far seen seven controversial executive orders signed and at least 11 memos issued, many about immigration and health care — has been tough.

“I felt hopeless for a while,” he said, but the highly publicly supported ordinance felt like a concrete thing that he and the city could do to fight back.

Trump’s executive order on immigration

I am outraged by Trump’s executive order on immigration and the effects its chaotic introduction has had on some of the most vulnerable people on Earth. It’s an action that has led to the detention of refugees already approved for admission, already in the country at American airports, already with family waiting for them in the country, and facing persecution in their homeland for working with Americans during American-initiated wars.

It has trapped hundreds of thousands of visa holders inside and outside of the country. It’s leading to rising tensions with countries like Iran right when we’ve been making progress in normalizing relations. It’s providing fuel to violent groups who have been eager to paint the United States as being at war with Islam.

It’s an act of unspeakable cruelty and short-sighted idiocy. But it’s also deeply personal. I can’t even enjoy Tết, the Vietnamese celebration of Lunar New Year, because I’m preoccupied by imagining my parents fleeing war-ravaged Vietnam and having nowhere to go and nobody to take them in.

Fortunately for them and for me, that wasn’t how the story played out. My parents were taken in and given an opportunity to build a good life. Now their son represents a city that welcomes refugees, provides sanctuary for immigrants of any legal status, rallies for women’s and immigrant rights, and fights fascism in all its forms.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work for you. Together we will #resist.