ordinance


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Ordinance

A law, statute, or regulation enacted by a Municipal Corporation.

An ordinance is a law passed by a municipal government. A municipality, such as a city, town, village, or borough, is a political subdivision of a state within which a municipal corporation has been established to provide local government to a population in a defined area.

Ordinances constitute the subject matter of municipal law. The power of municipal governments to enact ordinances is derived from the state constitution or statutes or through the legislative grant of a municipal charter. The charter in large part dictates how much power elected officials have to regulate actions within the municipality. Municipalities that have been granted "home rule" charters by the legislature have the most authority to act. If, however, a municipality enacts an ordinance that exceeds its charter or is in conflict with state or federal law, the ordinance can be challenged in court and ruled void.

Many ordinances deal with maintaining public safety, health, morals, and General Welfare. For example, a municipality may enact housing ordinances that set minimum standards of habitability. Other ordinances deal with fire and safety regulations that residential, commercial, and industrial property owners must follow. Many municipalities have enacted noise ordinances, which prohibit prescribed levels of noise after certain hours of the evening.

Ordinances may also deal with public streets and sidewalks. They typically include regulations regarding parking, snow removal, and littering. Restrictions on pets, including "pooper scooper" and leash laws, are also governed by municipal ordinances.

One of the most significant areas of municipal law is Zoning. Zoning ordinances constitute a master plan for land use within the municipality. A municipality is typically divided into residential, commercial, and industrial zoning districts. Zoning attempts to conserve the value of property and to encourage the most appropriate use of land throughout a particular locality.

In the past, many U.S. municipalities enacted a variety of ordinances regulating public morals and behavior. Many, such as ordinances that prohibited spitting on a public sidewalk, have been repealed or are rarely enforced.

ordinance

n. A statute enacted by a city or town.

ordinance

noun authoritative rule, canon, charter, code, command, decree, decretum, direction, edict, enactment, fiat, imperative, law, legal command, legislative decree, legislative edict, local law, local legislation, local rule, mandate, maxim, municipal code, municipal regulation, ordainment, order, ordination, proclamation, regulation, requirement, rule, statute
Associated concepts: city ordinance, criminal ordinance, municipal ordinance, regulatory ordinance, traffic ordinance, violation of an ordinance, zoning ordinance
See also: act, brevet, bylaw, canon, code, codification, dictate, direction, directive, edict, enactment, law, order, precept, prescription, regulation, rubric, rule, statute, writ

ORDINANCE, legislation. A law, a statute, a decree.
     2. This word is more usually applied to the laws of a corporation, than to the acts of the legislature; as the ordinances of the city of Philadelphia. The following account of the difference between a statute and an ordinance is extracted from Bac. Ab. Statute, A. "Where the proceeding consisted only of a petition from parliament, and an answer from the king, these were entered on the parliament roll; and if the matter was of a public nature, the whole was then styled an ordinance; if, however, the petition and answer were not only of a public, but a novel nature, they were then formed into an act by the king, with the aid of his council and judges, and entered on the statute roll." See Harg. & But. Co. Litt. l59 b, notis; 3 Reeves, Hist. Eng. Law, 146.
     3. According to Lord Coke, the difference between a statute and an ordinance is, that the latter has not had the assent of the king, lords, and commons, but is made merely by two of those powers. 4 Inst. 25. See Barr. on Stat. 41, note (x).

References in classic literature ?
They came to the hall, on a dark street-corner, ostensibly the quarters of an athletic club, but in reality an institution designed for pulling off fights and keeping within the police ordinance.
There came on them a strong, clear west- wind by ordinance of Zeus and blew from heaven vehemently, that with all speed the ship might finish coursing over the briny water of the sea.
The prefect, amazed at our industrial progress, lent his aid in obtaining the royal ordinance which authorized them, and last year we held our three fairs.
But I surmised that it might have been the sullenness of a man unconscious of guilt and standing at bay to fight his "persecutors," as he called them; or else the fear of a softer emotion weakening his defiant attitude; perhaps, even, it was a self-denying ordinance, in order to spare the girl the sight of her father in the dock, accused of cheating, sentenced as a swindler--proving the possession of a certain moral delicacy.
She justifies her action, asserting that she was bound to obey the eternal laws of right and wrong in spite of any human ordinance.
I am the Relieving Officer appointed by eternal ordinance to do my work; I am not held in estimation according as I shirk it.
There is no law, nor reverence for authority, no regard for human ordinances or opinions, right or wrong, mixed up with that child's composition," remarked he, as much to himself as to his companion.
It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that Resolves and Ordinances to that effect are legally void; and that acts of violence, within any State or States, against the authority of the United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.
Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first colony in the Northerne Parts of Virginia; doe, by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civill Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equall Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete and convenient for the Generall Good of the Colonie; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience.
Don Quixote, when he saw that not one of the four travellers took any notice of him or replied to his challenge, was furious and ready to die with indignation and wrath; and if he could have found in the ordinances of chivalry that it was lawful for a knight-errant to undertake or engage in another enterprise, when he had plighted his word and faith not to involve himself in any until he had made an end of the one to which he was pledged, he would have attacked the whole of them, and would have made them return an answer in spite of themselves.
It is thus quite certain that the constitution of the true religion, the ordinances of which are derived from God, must be incomparably superior to that of every other.
He killed all the malcontents who were able to injure him, and strengthened himself with new civil and military ordinances, in such a way that, in the year during which he held the principality, not only was he secure in the city of Fermo, but he had become formidable to all his neighbours.