For some 50 years, it has been unlawful to whistle or sing in the public restrooms of Tigard’s parks. But that changed last month when the City Council unanimously approved a slew of updates to the municipal code.
Other previously prohibited public-restroom conduct affected by the code changes include the wasting of soap and toilet paper, City Attorney Shelby Rihala told the council during its Dec. 3 meeting.
“They may not be good ideas, but they are not illegal,” she said.
The amendments also remove 20th-century references in the code that are no longer relevant.
“This code was first adopted in 1971, and much of it has not been touched since,” Rihala said. “So there are outdated references to things like milk wagons, hitching of horses, the 1970 vehicle code and others. This will delete those references and update it to current language”
Other references to be removed from the code include a prohibition on hanging hammocks and possessing torpedoes in parks, she said.
“Torpedoes?” Mayor Jason Snider interjected. “Like the weapon torpedoes?”
“Correct,” Rihala replied. “Explosives are still prohibited – so don’t get any ideas. But torpedoes, we are removing that reference.”
The code updates also remove redundancies – such as rules against damaging public drinking fountains and destroying park trashcans that are covered elsewhere in the municipal code.
Finally, the ordinance includes new rules that prohibit camping on environmentally sensitive areas, such as wetlands. Previously, the municipal code prohibited camping on all city property. But, per Rihala, such a blanket ban on camping on public property has been found unconstitutional.
Residential Parking Permit Process Updated
Starting Feb. 1, it will be easier for Tigard residents to have their neighborhoods designated as residential parking zones.
The City Council Dec. 3 unanimously approved a new process that lowers the threshold for how many households in an affected area must vote in favor of establishing a residential parking zone, where a permit is required to legally park a vehicle. The current process, established in the early 1990s, requires unanimous approval of households.
The issue came to the forefront early in 2019. A neighborhood near Tigard High School, where construction has been going on, requested permit parking on their street. Out of 34 households that received ballots, 24 voted in favor, five voted against and five ballots were not returned, causing the vote to fail.
The new process will require at least 60 percent of households to sign a petition requesting the creation of a residential parking zone; 70 percent of ballots must be returned; and at least 75 percent of those must vote in favor of permit parking.
The new process, Tigard Police Sgt. Lee Erickson told the council, “is definitely a more reasonable approach, and a more fair and equitable approach.”
Existing residential parking zones will be grandfathered in under the updated code, Tigard Police Commander James McDonald said.
Council Approves Committee, Commission Members
During their Dec. 3 meeting, the City Council appointed members to several committees and commissions.
Tigard Planning Commission: Jamie Watson and Alexandria Quinones were appointed as voting members with terms that expire Dec. 31, 2023. Craig Schuck was approved as a non-voting alternate member with a term through Dec. 31, 2021.
Town Center Advisory Commission: Renette Hier and Kate Rogers were reappointed as voting members. Elise Shearer was appointed as a voting member. Teri Karren-Keith and Katlyn Prentice were named non-voting alternate members. Justin Watson was appointed as a non-voting ex-officio member. Voting members’ terms last through Dec. 31, 2022. The non-voting members’ terms end Dec. 31, 2020.
Tigard Transportation Advisory Committee: Lindsey Wise was reappointed and Alan Eckert, Richard Keast and Holly Koontz were appointed as voting citizen representative members. Serge Killingsworth and Sarah Serata were approved as non-voting alternate members. All terms run through Dec. 31, 2022.