The city of Bend’s draft policy for where, when and how it will allow camping on city property is out.
If you have comments about it, get them in swiftly. The council is going to be holding some roundtable discussions through the end of this month.
Soon thereafter, councilors are going to vote.
The draft policy is not packed with surprises. Councilors have been shaping the direction for weeks. It’s still a significant set of changes.
Some important distinctions in the code:
- The city is making camping on public rights of way or public property a violation, as long as there is shelter space available. An assessment must be made of individuals on a case by case basis.
- No camping is allowed on public property in areas zoned residential.
- Some people have talked about wanting a ban on homeless camps within a certain distance of schools. That is not explicitly stated in the code. Schools are typically zoned public facilities.
- Where camping is allowed, it is basically allowed only overnight.
- The policy for vehicle camping is different. People can camp in vehicles in areas zoned residential. Vehicle campers can just move their vehicle slightly every few days and remain in compliance with city policy.