Wendy Leung, Staff Writer
Created: 10/03/2011 04:34:48 PM PDT

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – City leaders are considering possible changes to an ordinance passed in August that requires groups holding a protest or rally on public streets to first apply for a permit.

A group, primarily members of a local tea party chapter, has voiced opposition to the permit process, staging a small rally on Foothill Boulevard and speaking out at City Council meetings against it. The new ordinance requires organizers of rallies with more than 75 people that take place on a major street to obtain a permit.

Jean Ensley-Rositter of the Inland Valley Patriots said the ordinance is unconstitutional and called on the City Council to repeal the ordinance, which was approved unanimously on Aug. 17.

“You basically have to ask permission before it happens,” she said. “This is walking a very fine line of encroaching on our personal freedoms.”

Last month, seven people including Ensley-Rositter met with San Bernardino County sheriff’s Capt. Mike Newcombe about relaxing some of the provisions in the ordinance. They discussed having the permit be required for rallies with 100 or more people instead of 75, allowing larger specifications for flag poles and signs, and other issues.

Newcombe said he’ll take these suggestions to the city manager and present them to the City Council for possible revisions. He did not give a timeline as to when this will appear on the City Council agenda.

“Everything brought to me was worth a discussion,” Newcombe said. “I wasn’t uncomfortable with anything.”

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