EUGENE, Ore. - Citizens and groups gathered at Tuesday night's Eugene City Council meeting to weigh in on whether or not the city's Downtown Public Safety Zone - also known as the Exclusion Zone - should continue.
The zone bans people accused of certain crimes from a 20 block area of downtown for 90 days.
The law is set to expire at the end of April.
Authorities said the ordinance is a vital tool for fighting crime in the area. Thus some individuals argued that the law should be renewed.
David Hauser with Downtown Eugene Incorporated said the zone has made developers feel safe starting construction and development in the area.
"In almost any other community where there's jail capacity, people would go to jail," Hauser said. "We can't do that here because we don't have the resources."
Mark Rust works in Downtown Eugene. Rust believes the ordinance should continue for the sake of his children.
"I've personally witnessed open drug use downtown," said Mark Rust, a citizen for the exclusion zone. "I want downtown to thrive and be an attractive place for my kids to grow up."
Other residents in Eugene argue the ordinance steps on people's rights as citizens.
"The right to travel and associate freely in public spaces is a basic civil and human right," said Claire Syrett with ACLU. "It has not proven effective in reducing crime in Eugene."
"I think it's really disrespectful to people. It is like telling people not to breathe air," said Sean McFadden, a resident who is against the exclusion zone. "Telling people they can't come down here for certain things, that's ridiculous."
No action was made at Tuesday night's meeting. The City Council will meet again to vote on the issue at a later date.