DIXON – The City Council recently approved rules for the riverfront hoping to cut down on reports of disruptive behavior, but decided closing the grounds at night would be going too far.
In June, council members brought up concerns about a group of people harassing others at the riverfront, vandalizing concrete, smoking, drinking and being loud and disruptive.
Rules now are in place to deter bad behavior at Heritage Crossing, and those who don't heed warnings will be removed and potentially banned for up to 6 months.
Prohibited behavior includes obscene or abusive language or gestures, threatening violence or injury to a person or property, and making excessively or unusually loud noise.
That includes using loud devices such as radios, TVs, turntables, CD players, cellphones, public address systems, amplified musical instruments, and portable speakers or generators, unless it's being used in conjunction with an event at Heritage Crossing.
Smoking and any tobacco use also is not allowed, along with vandalism, swimming and misusing tables, chairs and other features.
Oral warnings will be given unless the behavior is dangerous or threatening, or constitutes a felony or misdemeanor.
Penalties for continuing to behave badly will be having to leave the riverfront or being banned for 1 to 6 months, depending on repeat offenses. People can challenge a ban by writing to the mayor within 5 days, and pleading their case at a hearing at City Hall.
City Manager Danny Langloss said they are implementing the "common-sense rules" after receiving numerous complaints.
Heritage Crossing should be treated like a park, he said.
The council signed off on the ordinance Monday after taking out language that would have closed the area from 30 minutes after sunset to sunrise.
Mayor Li Arellano Jr. and Councilmen Mike Venier and Ryan Marshall said closing the riverfront at night would be unnecessary and unfair to those using it responsibly.
Venier said the rules reinforce the council's focus on "continuing to make Heritage Crossing the place it should be."
The City Council next meets at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.
Go to discoverdixon.org or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.