A Denver-city ordinance that would prohibit unauthorized camping on all public or private property is currently working its way through the city council. A lengthy public hearing on the proposed ban was held April 30.
The proposed ordinance, CB12-241, is sponsored by council member Albus Brooks (District 8) and is currently set for a vote May 14.
If passed, the ban would make it illegal to sleep overnight on public or private property without a permit, although it is still unclear exactly how it would be enforced. Overnight camping in Denver public parks was previously made illegal several years ago.
More than 150 people packed the city council chambers and one overflow room at the hearing for a chance to speak on the proposed ban.
Opponents, many wearing buttons saying “homes not handcuffs,” attacked the ban for what they say criminalizes homelessness instead of solving problems.
Supporters, however, many of them owners of downtown businesses, cited safety concerns and praised the ban as a “positive first step” in ending homelessness.
Although the final vote isn’t scheduled until May 14, council members took a preliminary vote at the end of the hearing. Nine council members were in favor of the proposal and four against.
If passed, the ordinance would take effect May 29.
People: Albus Brooks