Supervisors delay introduction of new camping ordinance

Published Feb. 9, 2022

The Placer County Board of Supervisors delayed the introduction of a new camping ordinance but accepted public comments from the community on the proposed ordinance entitled, “Camping and Personal Property Storage on County Property and Public Areas”. 

“We decided to delay the introduction of the ordinance to ensure our residents had enough time to provide their input and insight into the ordinance’s potential impacts,” said Board Chair Cindy Gustafson. “This is a very complicated problem and there are no easy answers. We intend to be as transparent as possible to address these very human issues and we are asking for residents and businesses to help us find agreeable solutions.”

The purpose of the ordinance would be to ensure that individuals without shelter have a safe place to sleep but would restrict them from creating permanent encampments on public property, which have been contributing to unsanitary and disorderly conditions, including the degradation or destruction of open spaces and facilities within the county. 

The board is also considering the establishment of a daytime service center that would be located at the Placer County Government Center in Auburn. The center would give homeless individuals a safe place to stay during the day, temporarily store their personal property and receive referrals to needed services, if desired.

The current camping ordinance was put in place in July 2015 to regulate camping and personal property storage on public property and balance the needs of homeless individuals with the rights of others in the community. However, changes in state law, along with recent case law, have posed new challenges for enforcement.

The camping ordinance is now scheduled to be introduced at the March 8 Board of Supervisors meeting.