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The City Council voted Tuesday to table a vote on prohibiting outdoor camping on city government-owned property, except in permitted camping areas.
The proposed ordinance was designed to prevent potential issues such as street and sidewalk obstructions, damage to public property, and dangerous conditions faced by unpermitted campers. Any police officer enforcing the ordinance would be required to provide information on available shelters and other forms of assistance available to persons in need.
The cities of Roanoke and Bristol have passed similar ordinances.
However, Mayor Alonzo Jones and other members of the City Council wanted more time to research the issue.
After it was tabled, six people came forward to speak against the ordinance, saying the city should first consider providing housing options and supportive services for people who camp on public property because they are homeless.