City passes ban on public "camping,' limits sleeping in cars

Tacoma City Council has passed two ordinances meant to curb the public safety concerns of homelessness. Both ordinances went into effect immediately. The first ordinance is the “public camping” law, intended to address the public health and safety conditions that are caused by unauthorized encampments on public property. Under the law, daytime sunshades that are temporarily erected in public spaces for events and picnics are still allowed. The second ordinance council approved reduces the time that someone is allowed to sleep in their cars while parked on public roadways, and specific areas, from the previous limit of seven days to just 72 hours and requires that the vehicle be moved at least one mile away after 72 hours or face a fine of up to $250 fine. The “human habitation of vehicle” ordinance does not affect the city’s authority to impound vehicles that are obstructing traffic, presenting a threat to public safety, or are inoperable, in accordance with state law. The city allows property owners to live in vehicles for up to 14 consecutive days per calendar year with the proper permits. The latest ordinances are the newest changes under the city’s six-month emergency declaration regarding homelessness, which the council approved in May. ...read more

by Tacoma Weekly Jul. 20, 2017 at 1:00am