Council Makes Amendments to Homeless Camping Ordinance

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The Hermiston City Council made some clarifications to an ordinance passed last month addressing homeless camps within the city limits.

The clarifications deal primarily with vehicle camping and where and for how long vehicles can remain in one location.

The Hermiston City Council discusses changes Monday night to an ordiance regulating homeless camps in Hermiston. (Screenshot)

The ordinance passed on Sept. 11 requires vehicles used for camping to be moved every 24 hours. The amendment passed on Monday states that vehicles must be moved one block or 600 feet every 24 hours, said Hermiston City Manager Bryon Smith.

Smith said the new amendment would not apply to people merely parking their cars on the street.

The changes passed on Monday also state that vehicles cannot be parked within 60 feet of a residence. They also cannot be parked for camping within 750 feet of schools attended primarily by minors.

Parking lots connected to any dwelling are also not allowed. Smith said they need to be away from residential areas. Exceptions, however, are allowed if the dwelling is a church or retail business, in which case the proprietors can reserve a certain number of parking spaces for vehicle camping.

Smith said the ordinance prohibits camping in cemeteries.

“The Hermiston Cemetery isn’t currently in the city limits, but it could become problematic in the future if the cemetery does come into the city limits,” said Smith.

The changes made Monday night will take effect in 30 days.

The ordinance addressing the changes can be found here.

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