Port Washington North passes law prohibiting public urination, defecation

Port Washington North passes law prohibiting public urination, defecation
The Village of Port Washington North passed a law Tuesday night that prohibits public urination and defecation. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

The Village of Port Washington North approved a bill Tuesday night that prohibits urinating and defecating in public spaces within the village.

The bill was discussed during a public hearing at the Board of Trustees’ July meeting. It was passed unanimously by Trustee Andrea Scheff, Trustee Steven Cohen and Mayor Robert Weitzner – who were the only board members present Tuesday night.

Urinating and defecating is banned in public spaces, which include but is not limited to public parks, gardens, streets, sidewalks and docks – excluding public bathrooms.

The bill, which is to prohibit unsanitary conduct in public, grants local law enforcement to prohibit actions like urinating in public.

Weitzner said the Village drafted the bill in consultation with local police to enact stricter policies for what is an emerging issue.

Steve Kaplan, the village’s traffic safety commissioner, said urinating and defecating in public has become a town-wide issue.

“This is not only our village, just so everybody understands,” Kaplan said.

He accredited the growing issue to the lack of town and village ordinances that make the actions offendable and thus prevent police from being able to act upon the problem.

Port Washington North’s action comes in the wake of the Town of North Hempstead who passed a similar law prohibiting the public acts in April.

During the Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night, the board also voted to apply for a New York State Environmental Protection Fund grant for a new park proposed in the village.

The nautical-themed park is proposed to be accessible for children with physical disabilities and autism. The proposal includes a walking trail and exercise stations, as well as amenities catered to children with disabilities.

“A child who’s not handicapped or on the spectrum is not going to miss out coming to this playground,” Port Washington North Mayor Robert Weitzner said. “They’re going to still have fun, they’re going to still see all the amenities that a playground should have and more. Yet, the kids who are on the spectrum, the kids who are handicapped, they’re going to notice it immediately as well as their parents.”

The Port Washington North Board of Trustees will convene again at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 15.

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