BRADENTON -- The Bradenton City Council unanimously gave preliminary approval Wednesday to change an ordinance that allows police to impound vehicles used for prostitution and drug crimes.
The ordinance, which still requires a public hearing and a second vote, would replace an ordinance similar to one rendered illegal by a court ruling on Florida's east coast. The city reworded its ordinance to conform with the new legal guidelines.
The courts ruled seizure laws are not illegal as long as there is an extensive appeals process for affected property owners.
Bradenton's new ordinance
will allow police to impound cars used in crimes such as prostitution, indecent exposure or possession of a controlled substance. Offenders face a $500 fine for impoundment.
City Attorney William Lisch said the ordinance will not affect the owner of a car not involved with crime.
The second reading of the ordinance is set for 6 p.m. May 22 at the next council meeting.
In other business, the council
Approved special use permits for Leap Start Academy Inc., a day care, and an alcohol beverage license for a new bar.
Approved two resolutions to allow the rehabilitation of two different single family homes using federal grant monies.
Proclaimed May Teen Pregnancy Prevention month in the city.
Proclaimed May 12-18 "Salvation Army Week" and "Police Week."
Deputy Police Chief Keith Davis accepted the latter honor.
"We have one of the greatest departments, with great people who do their job with very little complaining," Davis said.