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Board votes to ban public urination in Amityville

Residents who live near James Caples Memorial Park

Residents who live near James Caples Memorial Park in Amityville say softball players are not using the facility's restrooms, seen here on Sept. 8, 2017, and are instead relieving themselves on the field within sight of neighbors' homes. Credit: Barry Sloan

The Village of Amityville board of trustees on Monday night voted to enact a new law banning public urination.

The village decided to add the measure to the village code chapter on nuisances after receiving complaints about softball players urinating within sight of several homes near James Caples Memorial Park. Although teams have keys to the bathrooms at the park, players balk at walking to the other side of the field to use them, Mayor Dennis Siry said.

The board voted unanimously to approve the law, which states that no one “shall urinate in a public place . . . except in a urinal or toilet designed for such purpose.” The penalty is a fine of not more than $250 and no more than 15 days imprisonment for each offense. The law can only be enforced if violators are caught in the act by officers, said village Police Chief Glenn Slack.

“The fact that this is even considered to be necessary is kind of a sad commentary,” Village Attorney Bruce Kennedy said during Monday night’s public hearing on the law. “If you don’t have enough common sense to know you’re not supposed to do this in a public place I’m not sure if a law is really going to change that.”

Siry said the law “will be hard to enforce, but it’ll be on the books.” Residents at the hearing asked if the village could revoke the permit of the softball team. Siry would not name the permit holder, even after being pressed by a resident, but said if he applies for another permit next year, “we’re definitely going to question whether we give them permission.”

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