The Deschutes County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a first reading a proposed new homeless camping code Wednesday, making some changes to last month’s proposal from Sheriff Shane Nelson.
The code limits camping and sleeping on county land, buildings, parking lots and other property.
Basics of the camping code are that camping may only occur in one location for 24 hours. The county can then give a 72-hour notice to vacate. Camps must be moved at least 600 feet and not return to the previous location for at least 72 hours.
The county is also able to close areas for up to 14 days for “environmental restoration or remediation of contamination by hazardous materials.”
The commissioners modified Nelson’s proposal, mainly to clarify which areas of the county were enforceable. They also said the county will find sites that would allow people to stay there.
Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Chang sees this as a step forward in addressing the homelessness crisis.
“We are making a verbal commitment to the community to do more on outdoor shelter opportunities and managed camps than we have been,” Chang said.
The second reading will occur in two weeks. If these rules are approved, they will take effect 90 days later.
All the changes in the code can be found here.