Kent City Council passes ordinance to ban camping on public property


City of Kent leaders unanimously passed an ordinance that would ban camping on public property within the city.  

Addressing homelessness near the Green River in Kent has been a focus for several months. However, it’s not the only area where people are sleeping outdoors.

On Oct. 4, the City Council discussed a proposal to update the current ordinance on illegal camping outside designated camping areas.

In a statement during that meeting, Council president Bill Boyce said: “Enforcement of the unlawful camping provisions under the proposed ordinance will be suspended when there is no available shelter except in particular locations such as: environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands and shorelines; park areas that are designated for a specified purpose such as picnic shelters and playfields; City rights of way; and City-owned facilities where business is conducted.”

Rather than giving at least 48 hours’ notice under the current city code, the change will allow police to remove the encampment immediately if it’s in specific public areas.

Shelter options will be offered to those who are asked to leave an encampment. 


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