Auburn homeless task force proposes new loitering, camping rules

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Encampments and loitering ordinances could be tightened in new rules to be considered Monday by the Auburn City Council.

Ordinance amendments to regulations already in place will be presented to council members by interim public safety director Victor Pecoraro in a meeting that starts at 6 p.m. Monday. Discussion of the ordinance is an untimed agenda item.

The city’s Transient-Homeless Task Force drafted the proposed ordinance amendments.

One amendment would allow the city’s camping ordinance to prohibit overnight camping on private residential property except by friends or family of the property owner, as long as the owner consents and the overnight camping is limited to no more than three consecutive nights.

The amended camping ordinance would also require, if requested by a city code enforcement officer or police officer, a camper to provide written proof within 48 hours of a request that the property owner has consented to the overnight camping.

The ordinance changes also would add a city-wide prohibition on loitering, with loitering defined as any time a person enters and remains on public or private property “in such a way that a reasonable person would conclude that the person has no legitimate purpose connected with the business or activity of the legal occupant of the premises and has no intent to exercise a constitutional right.”

Violations of the proposed additions to the Auburn Municipal Code would generally be punishable as misdemeanor offenses.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at Council Chambers of the Auburn Civic Center, 1225 Lincoln Way.