The camping code takes shape | The Weekly Source

Bend took the next step by drafting a code for unmanaged homeless camps on city rights-of-way in a working session Oct. 27. City staff provided Bend City Council with an early draft of the amended code amendments on September 21, since then Council provided input during business sessions.

The latest draft establishes when, where and how campsites are allowed to exist. The proposed new code allows campsites to be evicted once they are in the same location for a 24-hour period, after which residents could be given 72 hours’ notice to leave. The camper will have to move at least one block or 600 feet and cannot return to where they were kicked out for at least 72 hours. Once a camp is removed, the City may decide not to allow camping in the area for up to 14 days. The application of these rules could be suspended if a person does not have access to a shelter and participates in case management or services.

Under the proposed code, camps would be prohibited in residential areas or if the camp obstructs a sidewalk or road and in the Waterway Overlay Zone, which is a buffer zone near the Deschutes River. The new plan would also restrict camping to within 1,000 feet of any homeless shelter or secure parking program, or in areas deemed unsafe for camping by the city manager due to conditions such as construction.

The city also limits the grouping of camps, requiring that a group of three camps cannot be within 150 feet of another group of camps. Camps are not permitted to exceed 144 square feet, and behaviors such as hoarding trash, open flames, dumping sewage, and connecting to utilities could result in removal.

The Town will review its camping code policy at its November 2 business meeting and a first reading is scheduled for its November 6 regular meeting. Bend removed its third campsite this year on Oct. 27, where 13 people had set up tents on Second Street. The current municipal code requires the city manager to declare the camp unsafe according to a rubric that measures risks to public safety.

Comments are closed.