The Redmond City Council held a public hearing Tuesday night on Time, Place, and Manner camping code regulations, something the city does not have in place.
“We have the systemic issue of chronic homelessness,” said Redmond City Councilor John Nielson. “How do we keep people from falling into that situation? And that is not the conversation that we are having tonight. The conversation that we are looking at is how do we stop the bleeding?”
City staff presented the legal framework and content of the proposed amendments to the council.
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State and federal laws limit how cities can regulate homeless camping. Now the city of Redmond has to update its ordinances to comply with those laws.
“We have a legal and fiduciary duty in terms of our resources to implement regulations that balance the needs of the community and a place where people have a right or have an ability to rest and to sleep when they don’t have a place,” said Redmond Mayor Ed Fitch.
After the presentation and discussion, the public spoke.
“Seems like I don’t have any rights, and, you know, those people have all the rights,” said one commenter.
“ODOT should be at the table with us and help us move those people off the canal,” said another.
City staff says the most recent point-in-time count has around 250 homeless in the city of Redmond.
The council is expected to continue the public hearing at its February 28 meeting.
Cities have until July 1 to update their ordinances and be in compliance with House bills.