To prevent more permanent tent clusters and other structures from appearing on municipal streets and in parks, Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland is reportedly working on a proposal to outlaw camping on city property from 8 am to 8 pm.
Camping near schools, daycare centers, and other shelter locations would be forbidden at all hours of the day and night. Someone familiar with the situation has claimed that Wheeler hopes to have the new rules voted on by his fellow Portland City Council members before the end of the month.
Mayor Seeks to Ban Daytime Camping in Portland, Oregon, appears on Reddit as a post-
Mayor Seeks To Ban Daytime Camping On City of Portland Property
by u/dazzlehasselhoff in Portland
With Wheeler’s push, other cities in the region are trying to align with a 2021 law passed by the Oregon Legislature that says such laws must be “objectively reasonable as to time, place, and manner with regards to persons experiencing homelessness.”
Hearings are being held in Beaverton, Oregon, to determine how the city will implement House Bill 3115, introduced in the 2021 legislative session. By July 1st, localities must comply with the law. According to the city’s website, the first of two hearings on the subject will take place tonight in Beaverton.
According to the draft ordinance for Beaverton, persons sleeping outdoors are allowed between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. The law states that “after 8 am, a person without alternative shelter shall dismantle the campsite and remove all personal property from that place.”
Regarding location, the proposed ordinance in Beaverton states that homeless persons are not allowed to camp within 1,000 feet of a secure parking area, a homeless shelter, or a location offering homeless assistance. They also can’t set up camp less than 250 yards from a daycare, a school, an exit, or an entrance to a highway.
Beaverton’s proposed legislation would make tents and other structures that block public ways or private driveways illegal. People without homes would be forbidden from leaving behind trash or feces, setting fires, or using gas heaters. It was also decided that they could not “terrace soil.”
According to those in the know, Portland’s regulations will likely mirror Beaverton’s. When she was House speaker, Gov. Tina Kotek made HB 3115 a top goal. Kotek was concerned that cities in Oregon would prohibit camping without providing enough options for homeless people.
The city council of Portland has struggled to figure out “outdoor solutions” for people experiencing homelessness. In February 2016, Mayor Charlie Hales introduced a six-month pilot program allowing camping on public sidewalks between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. (with a maximum of six persons in each cluster).
In August of that year, Hales announced a reduction in scope, indicating that camping was still forbidden. However, if campers weren’t causing any trouble, he instructed law enforcement to take it easy on them.
Martin v. Boise, a ruling from 2018 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, significantly impacts homeless policy in Western U.S. cities since it prevents municipalities from enforcing anti-camping statutes if they do not provide adequate housing for their homeless population.
Here are the most recent updates on what’s been going on in Portland:
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However, Martin does not preempt local bans on camping in public places. During the pandemic, the number of homeless encampments in Portland skyrocketed as the economy tanked and towns were forced to leave the camps alone to stop the spread of COVID-19. Many centers have grown into massive nylon, metal, and wood structures.
Wheeler has moved to outlaw daytime street camping as his office prepares to open six authorized encampments in Portland that will provide essential hygiene services and case management to the city’s unsheltered population.
Wheeler plans to house 1,500 people in the authorized locations. Wheeler’s spokesman Cody Bowman said he couldn’t comment on the new regulations.
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