Baggy pants vote to be on Porterdale agenda

PORTERDALE -- An ordinance making it illegal to wear baggy pants that sit too low on the hips is expected to be on the City Council agenda for a vote at the March 5 regular meeting.

At a work session last Thursday, council members discussed changes to the proposed ordinance that would make it possible for the city solicitor to prosecute baggy pants cases.

Solicitor Robert Piccaretto was at the meeting and suggested some changes to the proposed ordinance, particularly removing a section that stated violators would not be subject to arrest.

"From the standpoint of a prosecutor, I wouldn't be able to prosecute that because that makes it a civil matter," Piccaretto said.

He also suggested that the council strike a section that stated that the Porterdale Municipal Court would have the same authority as the Superior Court to enforce the ordinance. He pointed out that a violation of the proposed ordinance would be a misdemeanor, which would not be handled in Superior Court.

The proposed ordinance would expand on the state public indecency code by prohibiting the wearing of pants or skirts more than 3 inches below the top of the hips, exposing the skin or undergarments.

Councilman Mike Harper brought the matter before the council at the Feb. 13 work session, saying that he has been contacted by several residents who objected to individuals wearing their pants below their buttocks and exposing their underwear. Harper said at that time that other jurisdictions have enacted ordinances against baggy pants and he would like to see Porterdale do the same.

Councilman Tim Savage said last week that he has reviewed similar laws in other jurisdictions, noting that some of those ordinances have been overturned. He asked that Piccaretto review the ordinance and report back to the council.

Councilwoman Anita Rainey said she does not support the ordinance and did not think the city should pursue it. She said previously that she did not believe the city should try to regulate what people wear.

Harper said he would make a motion at the March 5 meeting to approve the ordinance and believed that he had the necessary three votes to have it enacted.