Cambridge Looking to Close Public Urination Loophole - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Cambridge Looking to Close Public Urination Loophole

Posted: Updated:
An alley in Cambridge often used as an outdoor restroom ( Photo:WBOC) An alley in Cambridge often used as an outdoor restroom ( Photo:WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.- A loophole in the law has some people in Cambridge blushing, while others are simply outraged.  The law deals with "going in public."

It turns out that using the street as a bathroom is allowed, as long as no one else sees.  Now that the loophole has been discovered, the city is working to close it.

This may sound like a niche problem that only a few business owners have to deal with occasionally.  As it turns out, a lot of them have to deal with this several times a week, if not several times a day, so the Cambridge City Council is trying to fix it.

A park, an alleyway, some see a bathroom.  Sergio Martinez makes a living cleaning vehicles, but he also has to clean his alley.

"At least every three days we spray the alleyway, the front, and the alleyway itself because sometimes it smells like pure urine and feces down there," said Martinez.

Sergio says several times a day people urinate in the alleyway, and occasionally even defecate.  It's not just one business owner having to deal with the sights and smells.

"It's happened, I've seen it.  I think we need something.  There needs to be something in place," said Katie Smith, owner of Katie Mae's Country Shoppe.

The city is working on an ordinance proposed by Cambridge Chief of Police Dan Dvorak to address the issue.  The current state laws only address public exposure.

"If you see them, and they are urinating on the side of a business or a residence, if you don't see their genitals then you can't cite them under Maryland law," said Dvorak.

The new ordinance would make it a misdemeanor, which starts at a $50 citation, then $150 for subsequent offenses.  If there are more offenses,  "They could go to jail," said Dvorak.  "We hope that wouldn't happen.  Our goal here is to get people to go to the bathroom in a proper bathroom."

Which some business owners are happy to accommodate.

"We have a public restroom for customers and if people need to use the restroom, I'd rather them use our bathroom than go outside and get cited and get a ticket," said Martinez.

"It's not going to end just because we have something that says you can't do that, but I think we need to have something where we can try to keep it down," said Smith.

That effort will be seen in front of City Council again for possible adoption in July.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Harrington Woman Arrested for Theft at Her Workplace

    Harrington Woman Arrested for Theft at Her Workplace

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 1:55 PM EDT2017-06-27 17:55:30 GMT
    Tuesday, June 27 2017 2:04 PM EDT2017-06-27 18:04:16 GMT

    Milford police said Tuesday that a Harrington woman was arrested for theft after she stole money from her employer over a several month period. 

    More

    Milford police said Tuesday that a Harrington woman was arrested for theft after she stole money from her employer over a several month period. 

    More
  • Person Killed in Seaford Trailer Fire

    Person Killed in Seaford Trailer Fire

    Wednesday, June 28 2017 12:15 AM EDT2017-06-28 04:15:15 GMT
    Wednesday, June 28 2017 12:15 AM EDT2017-06-28 04:15:15 GMT

    A person was found dead inside of a trailer fire in Seaford on Tuesday night, according to the Delaware State Fire Marshal. 

    More

    A person was found dead inside of a trailer fire in Seaford on Tuesday night, according to the Delaware State Fire Marshal. 

    More
  • Man Killed in Dover Double Shooting

    Man Killed in Dover Double Shooting

    Wednesday, June 28 2017 9:16 AM EDT2017-06-28 13:16:17 GMT
    Wednesday, June 28 2017 9:51 AM EDT2017-06-28 13:51:06 GMT

    Dover police are investigating a shooting that killed a 21-year-old man and left a 25-year-old man with injuries on Tuesday night.

    More

    Dover police are investigating a shooting that killed a 21-year-old man and left a 25-year-old man injured on Tuesday night.

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Devastating Fire Destroyed the Old Wicomico Youth & Civic Center 40 Years Ago Tuesday

    Devastating Fire Destroyed the Old Wicomico Youth & Civic Center 40 Years Ago Tuesday

    40 years ago Tuesday the old Wicomico Youth and Civic Center was destroyed by one of the county’s most devastating fires.

    On June 27, 1977, a floor buffer sparked a highly flammable sealant being applied and, in an instant, the community’s cherished center shot up in flames, dark smoke billowing that could be seen as far south as Princess Anne and as far north as Laurel, Del.

    More

    40 years ago Tuesday the old Wicomico Youth and Civic Center was destroyed by one of the county’s most devastating fires.

    On June 27, 1977, a floor buffer sparked a highly flammable sealant being applied and, in an instant, the community’s cherished center shot up in flames, dark smoke billowing that could be seen as far south as Princess Anne and as far north as Laurel, Del.

    More
  • Update: Arson Blamed for Building Fire in Kent County, Part 2

    Update: Arson Blamed for Building Fire in Kent County, Part 2

    Authorities say arson is to blame for a late Monday afternoon fire that broke out at a vacant building in Kent County. 

    The Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office said the fire was reported shortly before 5 p.m. by a passing motorist who observed smoke at the
    former Mike Davidson Recycling facility, located in the 3000 block of Willow Grove Road, west of Camden. (Excerpt from WBOC News at 6)

    More

    Authorities say arson is to blame for a late Monday afternoon fire that broke out at a vacant building in Kent County. 

    The Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office said the fire was reported shortly before 5 p.m. by a passing motorist who observed smoke at the
    former Mike Davidson Recycling facility, located in the 3000 block of Willow Grove Road, west of Camden. (Excerpt from WBOC News at 6)

    More
  • New Boat Ramp Opens in Ocean City

    New Boat Ramp Opens in Ocean City

    Today the blue ribbon was officially cut at the new boat ramp on 64th Street in Ocean City. Gov. Larry Hogan was joined by the town's mayor, Richard Meehan, and other city councilmen at the ceremony.

    More

    Today the blue ribbon was officially cut at the new boat ramp on 64th Street in Ocean City. Gov. Larry Hogan was joined by the town's mayor, Richard Meehan, and other city councilmen at the ceremony.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices