Business Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are the homeless allowed to loiter outside our businesses? We understand that having multiple subjects loitering at and around the entrance of your business can impede normal business traffic and can negatively affect the ability of your business to operate successfully. Laws and codes related to loitering can be enforced on the business property if "No Loitering" signs are posted.

2. What can be done about chronic inebriates hanging around my business? The laws that govern public intoxication are very specific. It is illegal to drink alcohol in public. This is something that can be handled directly through the Police Department, by calling the non-emergency number at (619) 691-5151. However, this issue can also be handled through a partnership with local businesses. If these businesses are willing to refuse to serve people who are already visibly intoxicated, this sort of behavior can be sharply curtailed.

3. Is it illegal for anyone to have shopping carts from stores? While it is theoretically illegal, due to case law regarding property belonging to homeless persons it is not logistically possible to prosecute for this offense.

4. Is panhandling illegal? No it is not. Panhandling is legal as long as it is done from a location where the subject has a legal right to be and is not done within 500 feet of a freeway access ramp. However, if a person is panhandling on business property in a manner that interferes with successful business operation, that behavior is illegal.

5. What can be done about transients sleeping behind businesses? As long as the business is posted for loitering and trespassing, subjects can be made to move and also be cited. For more detailed information please see the trespass information site.

6. Is the homeless problem getting worse in the City of Chula Vista? Homelessness is a nationwide problem and is on the rise in southern California.  San Diego County has the second highest homeless population in the state.  The City of Chula Vista has taken a proactive approach to addressing the homeless population in our community.  We continue to try to come up with creative solutions in reducing the number of homeless in our community by connecting them to resources and services addressing the root cause of their homelessness.

7. Is drinking on a business property illegal? Yes, any open alcohol containers in public are illegal, and that can be handled by calling the non-emergency police number at (619) 691-5151.

8. What can I do about the homeless urinating on or around the building? Urinating in public is illegal and should be addressed by calling the non-emergency police number at (619) 691-5151.

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