BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — The Bristol, Virginia City Council adopted an ordinance on Tuesday that makes public urination or defecation within the city illegal. During the meeting, council members unanimously adopted the ordinance on second reading, which means it’ll go into effect in 30 days, on Nov. 9.
Once the ordinance goes into effect, public urination or defecation becomes a class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines. An agenda item summary for the ordinance states the following:
Public urination, defecation, exposure of genitals. It shall be unlawful for any person to urinate or defecate, or expose his or her genitals for the purpose of urinating or defecating, in or on any sidewalk, street, or in any public place, or in view of the public, unless such urination, defecation or exposure be in a bathroom, restroom or other facility specifically designated for such purpose. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.Ordinance to Add Section 62-13 to Chapter 62
Bristol, Va. Mayor Neal Osborne said during the Tuesday meeting that after first proposing the ordinance, he spoke with unhoused people in the city. He told council members that many of the citizens he spoke to understood the need for the ordinance and agreed with its policy.
Along with this ordinance, the city council approved and adopted on second reading another measure that added new language to the city’s loitering ordinance. The agenda item summary states this added language intends to “include a more detailed description of loitering in public places or streets and to be further pursuant with the Code of Virginia 15.2-926.”