The Iowa City City Council has passed the first reading of an ordinance geared to address an increase in complaints about inappropriate behavior by homeless people and others around the ped mall.

Council member Jim Throgmorton cast the lone dissenting vote.

The ordinance, which requires 2 more readings, would further restrict panhandling, the storage of personal items, and where and when people can lounge or rest.

Throgmorton says he believes part of the problem stems from the amount of public space being restricted this summer by the construction of a 14-story building in the area.

Throgmorton says he plans to work on coming up with some proposals to amend the ordinance before the next reading in 2 weeks.