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Buckhorn Proposes Temporary Ordinance for RNC

Under the ordinance, a Clean Zone and a Public Viewing Area will be established during the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

From City of Tampa Online:

Mayor Bob Buckhorn will propose a new, temporary ordinance that will be effective during the week of the Republican National Convention, which will promote the well-being and protect the safety of residents and visitors in Tampa during the RNC.

"The Republican National Convention is our chance to tell Tampa's story to the world about why it is the best city to live, work, raise a family, and start a business, and we are invested in it being a success. We want everyone to be able to make their voices heard," said Buckhorn. "This ordinance lays the ground work so that they can do so legally and establishes both the Clean Zone, and the Public Viewing Area, which will give residents and commuters working in downtown a sense of security."

Under the ordinance, the City of Tampa will establish a Clean Zone.

The borders are as follows: west is Rome Avenue, north is Columbus Drive, east is N. 22nd Street then Channelside Drive, south is the water. The Clean Zone will include all of Davis and Harbour islands. All city parks located within the Clean Zone will close at 3 a.m. Certain items, including weapons such as knives, axes, maces and clubs, will be prohibited in the Clean Zone.

A Public Gathering Permit will be required for any gathering of more than 50 people held in the Clean Zone. The duration for the permit will be for 60 minutes, and the City has reduced the permit fee to $50. All permits will be issued through the Parks and Recreation Department, Office of Special Events.

A Public Viewing Area will be created by the City, which is where protestors can be closest to the Tampa Bay Times Forum and the delegates. The City will also prohibit certain items within the Public Viewing Area, including ropes, coolers, and gas masks.

The City will prohibit the wearing of masks within the Clean Zone, unless the person is in the Public Viewing Area or on the Official Parade Route.

Properties within the Central Business District may apply for a rights-of-way permit to construct temporary fencing. The fencing must be removed no later than September 5, 2012.

In addition to the temporary ordinance, please note that the City of Tampa will create an Official Parade Route to minimize disruption to traffic patterns in downtown.

Penalties for violating the temporary ordinance are a fine not to exceed $500 and/or imprisonment for no longer than 60 days.

The new ordinance, once approved by Tampa City Council, will be in effect from August 27, 2012 to September 1, 2012, with the ability to extend to September 8, 2012 should the Republican National Convention be delayed.

It will go before Tampa City Council on April 5 for first reading.

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