At the Yucaipa City Council meeting on June 8, City Manager Ray Casey addressed the council regarding the ratification of executive proclamation and order No. 20-03 proclaiming the existence of a local civil emergency and imposing regulations regarding the possession of open alcoholic beverage containers in public places, approved and issued by the Director of Disaster Services on June 2, 2020.
Casey said, “As council is aware, we had been working on prohibition of alcohol consumption in public places, public rights-of-way, etc. and just hadn’t brought it back to council but the events of June 1, precipitated the emergency proclamation and emergency position of not allowing open alcoholic beverage containers in public places.”
Yucaipa municipal code requires that such regulations be ratified at the earliest practicable time by the Yucaipa City Council.
In light of the ongoing civil unrest and recent issues in the Uptown area, staff believes that the limitations on the possession of alcoholic beverages in open containers on public property and in non-residential areas of the city to quell disturbances, violence, and destruction of property should continue for the time being.
Additionally, these limitations promote the city’s interest in safeguarding the rights of peaceful assembly and protest; and protecting the safety of city residents, protestors, the general public, property, businesses, and emergency and law enforcement providers.
Staff brought this item before council to ratify that order and make it a permanent order and ultimately staff will come back to council with a municipal code which includes that order. “Ratifying it this evening, makes it permanent, if council so chooses,” said Casey.
Councilmember Bobby Duncan asked, “Is the public places there, is that public right-of-way?”
Casey responded, “Public rights-of-way, and it also includes parking lots adjacent to commercial businesses. Not the businesses, obviously themselves, but the parking lots.”
Duncan wanted clarification if this has not been an ordinance or rule in the past. Casey answered that it is in most communities but it has not been in Yucaipa.
Mayor Pro Tem Denise Allen asked, “And this would make it permanent?” Casey replied, “Yes.”
Councilmember Greg Bogh said, “That was kind of my position as I didn’t realize that we didn’t have it.”
Mayor David Avila stated, “Some things just never come up until it hits us in the face.”
Duncan asked, “So if you have a can of beer in your hand and you are walking down the sidewalk, that’s called an open container, isn’t it?” Casey answered, “Correct.”
Duncan asked, “That is against the law already isn’t it?”
Casey answered, “It has not been against our municipal code or laws here in Yucaipa until now.”
Duncan stated, “That is a law in the state of California, no? Just driving with an open container, OK, good.”
Allen added, “You can’t be drunk in public.” Casey added, “That is state (law).”