The Atascadero city council unanimously voted last night to adopt draft ordinances aimed at addressing homeless camps in the city.
City staff says the ordinance is a new tool to be used in place of a now outdated ordinance first drafted in 2013 that is not compliant with federal law. The ordinance provides guidelines for regulating the time, place, and manner for camping on public and private property. The new ordinance regulates that camping is only allowed by necessity during certain evening hours, cannot be done within 100 to 500 feet of certain public facilities and properties, such as schools and city hall, and cannot be done in such a manner that raises health and safety concerns.
The city says that they will continue to approach unhoused residents with compassion and sympathy, seeking to provide them with resources before using the new ordinance for compliance-based enforcement.