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Posted: March 15, 2012 10:19 p.m.

Porterdale officially drops pants ordinance

Update: The city of Porterdale has officially forgone their attempt to make baggy pants in the city illegal, settling instead to have a final reading of a public indecency law that mirrors that of the state.

Also, during a called meeting Tuesday the council unanimously authorized Mayor Arline Chapman to sign a paving contract for Rose Hill and to execute an agreement with Northeast Georgia Regional Commission (NEGRC) for opportunity zone administrative assistance.

Original story: A change to the proposed baggy pants ordinance in Porterdale has been made, and some council members seemed less than pleased at Monday night’s meeting.

After the first and second reading of the ordinance, the council was informed they would have to remove the subsection of the ordinance that dealt solely with baggy pants. Initially the ordinance made it unlawful to wear pants more than three inches below the hips or expose skin or undergarments. 

But after hearing a letter from Porterdale Solicitor Robert Piccare, they learned that wearing baggy pants was, under the law, considered a form of self expression. To try and enforce that could result in litigation against the city. His suggestion? Let other areas “test the waters” until a judicial ruling comes down from previous litigation in other areas before trying to enforce subsection. However once that subsection is removed, the ordinance becomes just a duplicate of the state’s public indecency ordinance.

Although the first and second reading of the ordinance were approved by all council members but Post 1 councilwoman Anita Rainey, Mayor Arline Chapman and Post 4 councilman Mike Harper weren’t pleased by the change.

“[Subsection] G was the main intent of this ordinance,” Chapman said. “So we’re just going to pass a general indecency prohibiting ordinance? We will not be outlawing saggy pants in Porterdale? That’s what you’re telling me.”

She questioned Harper’s happiness with the change.

“No I’m not happy, but there’s nothing I can do,” he said. The council could vote on the ordinance at April 2 meeting.

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