Auburn gets tougher on homeless camping, loitering

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Homeless camping and loitering will get harder under new regulations OK’d Monday by the Auburn City Council.

Updating current city regulations, the new rules were developed by the city’s Transient-Homeless Task Force and presented at the meeting by interim public safety director Victor Pecoraro.

Introduction of the ordinance and initial approval Monday signals that overnight camping would be prohibited on private residential property except by friends or family and with the written consent of the property’s owner — but for no more than three consecutive nights.

Written proof of the owner’s consent would be required within 48 hours of contact with police or city code-enforcement.

The new regulations, which require a second vote for approval because they amend the city’s municipal code, were praised by Councilman Matt Spokely, who said they will make Auburn “a better place.”

Councilman Daniel Berlant, a member of the task force, said that the loitering provision would be new to the city.

It would be a citywide prohibition on people entering and remaining on a public or private premises “in such a way that a reasonable person would conclude that the person loitering has no legitimate purpose connected with the business or activity of the legal occupant of the premises.”

City Councilman Bill Kirby was absent from the meeting.