Green Cove Springs reworks its trespass warning policies

By Don Coble don@claytodayonline.com
Posted 1/5/22

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The city council expanded the term on its no-trespassing warnings from one to two years Tuesday night but now will allow anyone banned from city property the opportunity to …

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Green Cove Springs reworks its trespass warning policies

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The city council expanded the term on its no-trespassing warnings from one to two years Tuesday night but now will allow anyone banned from city property the opportunity to appeal the decision.
The Green Cove Springs City Council voted to change it ordinances at the suggestion of the police department and City Attorney L.J. Arnold following the recent arrests of a man who was charged with shouting profanity and making disparaging comments to people on the city pier at Spring Park.
“This is the item that was brought forth by the police department as the result of some inquiries when they had, from time to time, very rarely have issued trespass warnings to someone who was violating the state law or city ordinance at a particular place, such as the city pier where they were violating the law and were issued a trespassing warning for a period of time,” Arnold said. “We didn’t have an established process code. After researching that, we determined that we needed one.”
The clarification comes weeks after Mark Morgan pled no contest to charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing after he was arrested by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit on Oct. 23.
Morgan was ordered not to be on city property for one year after he was arrested on July 17 for yelling at people on the pier and being charged with boating under the influence, according to the arrest report.
A judge adjudicated Morgan guilty of violating the no trespassing warning, boating under the influence and disorderly conduct on Dec. 21. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail – which he already had served, 11 months of probation and fines totaling $1,798. Morgan also was ordered to sign up for mental health evaluation, attend at least two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and refrain from drinking or using drugs.
Morgan now will have the opportunity to appeal the police department’s decision.
“It applies retroactively to anyone who has an outstanding trespass warning that has not expired. We will notify those that we can locate and give them the appeal process,” Arnold said.
GCSPD Cmdr. Shawn Hines said he was happy to see the ban expand to two years.
“Two years is sufficient. One year goes by incredibly quick,” he said.

In other business
In other business, council members spent two hours talking about the city’s long-range comprehensive plan, particularly how to manage unprecedented growth. The transmittal hearing is required within 10 days of the first public hearing.

Also, the council agreed to pay $40,394 to Data Flow Systems for upgrades to the Harbor Road Water Treatment Plant and a $246,478 payment to the St. Johns River Water Management District toward the construction of an Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant. The next council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.

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