The City Council has ordered the drafting of two new city laws that would ban panhandling in some areas and alcohol consumption in Sarzotti Park without a permit.
The decisions Tuesday follow growing complaints to police about homeless people badgering shoppers in the city's downtown area for change and harassing park users.
City officials say the problems involve just a handful of people and are not yet serious.
But police contend that with no laws on the city's books there is little they can do to stem panhandling or drunkenness in Sarzotti Park.
No timeline was set for the new ordinances to be drafted and brought before the council for consideration.
Council members were unanimous in their call for the drafting of an anti-panhandling ordinance, but split on whether the municipal code should be amended to ban alcohol in Sarzotti Park without a city permit.
Council members Joe DeVito, Steve Olsen and Nina Shelley favored drafting a law to curb alcohol in the park.
But taking a stance for individual rights and citing enforcement concerns, council members Suza Francina and Ellen Hall said they opposed such a restriction.