EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- After a long debate Monday night, Eugene’s city council members made a decision about the controversial Public Safety Zone in the city's downtown core. Four councilors wanted to extend the exclusion zone, set to expire on November 30; four wanted to do away with it. Mayor Kitty Piercy cast the deciding vote: the exclusion zone will continue for another year.
But the new ordinance contains some changes: people can be excluded from downtown for only ninety days for serious crimes, such as dealing drugs, violence, sex crimes or other felonies. They may still get tickets for lesser offenses such as possessing marijuana, pedestrian violations and trespassing. All arrests and citations must now to be entered into a database.
The council members are evenly split on the constitutionality of the Public Safety Zone.
The city will put together a community group to determine how to eventually replace the zone with a more complete system.
The extension of the exclusion zone is set to expire on November 30, 2013.