ashland.news
July 24, 2024

Ashland City Council to take another swing at camping ordinance

Ashland City Hall in the fall. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
December 3, 2023

Revised rules up for discussion at Tuesday meeting

By Morgan Rothborne, Ashland.news

A first reading of the city’s camping ordinance to dictate where and for how long those experiencing homelessness can camp in Ashland is on the agenda for the Tuesday council business meeting. 

“The proposed ordinances aim(s) to restore the city’s capacity and necessity to regulate camping on public property in a way that differentiates between addressing behavior rather than the status of individuals who are involuntarily homeless,” according to meeting materials

The ordinance would establish definitions such as “involuntarily homeless,” “established camping site,” and “apparent value and utility,” with respect to the belongings of homeless people which could be obtained by the city in clearing homeless camps. The ordinances would also dictate places within the city where camping is prohibited.  

Proposed charter amendments for the May special election are also on the agenda Tuesday. The amendments would alter article 14, Chief of Police: Powers and Duties, Section 2 to allow the Ashland Chief of Police to designate an officer to attend council meetings in their place. The current charter dictates the chief must attend all council meetings. 

A second ballot initiative would alter Article 3, Elective Officers and Article 6 – Recorder. The change would remove the city recorder as an elected official and allow the recorder to become a city staff member. The change reflects an evolution over time in the role of recorder to a strictly administrative position, according to meeting materials

Council will discuss a list of “shelter goals,” for the 2200 Ashland St. emergency shelter. The goals are coming before council for a second time after an initial discussion at the Nov. 21 business meeting. The goals and a list of associated projects have been revised to reflect input from the previous discussion, according to meeting materials. 

Council will also consider a sole source procurement for wastewater membranes, right of way changes for Fair Oaks Avenue and Oak Street as well as an update to the city’s parking standards as dictated by the Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities (CFEC) rules adopted by the Land Conservation and Development Commission in July 2022. 

The meeting is set to start at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, in the Ashland City Council chamber, 1175 East Main St. Proceedings are cablecast live on Channel 9 (or 180), streamed online at rvtv.sou.edu (RVTV Prime), and posted online at bit.ly/coavideos the day after the meeting.

Email Ashland.news reporter Morgan Rothborne at morganr@ashland.news.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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