ORDINANCE NO. 2012-07 AN ORDINANCE OF
ORDINANCE NO. 2012-07
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF NEVADA CITY AMENDING AND ADDING TO CHAPTER 9.14 OF THE NEVADA CITY MUNICIPAL CODE
TO REGULATE CAMPING, LODGING AND OVERNIGHT STAYS IN CITY
WHEREAS, people are free to congregate and linger in public spaces and are invited to do so in the City as long as their presence does not interfere with the primary purposes of public property or endanger public health, safety and welfare; and
WHEREAS, the Nevada City Municipal Code already regulates certain behavior such as free movement in public ways and places and consumption or possession of alcohol on various public properties to promote the public health, safety, and welfare of its citizens and visitors; and
WHEREAS, camping on public property is not currently restricted or regulated, even though it may adversely impact public health and safety and interfere with the intended use of the property in that it constitutes a use for which the properties are neither designed nor adequate to accommodate without advance notice and planning; and
WHEREAS, regulating camping on public property and private property without permission would help preserve and protect public properties for their intended use and further public health, safety, and welfare; and
WHEREAS, camping on public property can be prohibited without criminalizing conduct that is the unavoidable consequence of being involuntarily homeless if it includes a permit process to accommodate the needs of local involuntarily homeless people in a manner consistent with the health, safety, and welfare of themselves and the public:
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the City Council of the City of Nevada City as follows:
Section 9.14.020 Definitions of Chapter 9.14 is amended to add definitions to read as follows:
For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms and words are defined as
set out in this section:
"Camp" means to use a certain location or area for living accommodation purposes such as overnight sleeping activities between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., or making preparations to sleep (including the laying down of bedding and/or erecting any tents or parking any vehicles for the purpose of sleeping) overnight or for an indeterminate period. These activities constitute "camping" when it reasonably appears, in light of all the circumstances that a person(s) is using an area as a living accommodation regardless of their intent or the nature of any other activities in which they might also be engaging.
"City Properties" means all facilities and areas owned, leased or licensed by the City, including, without limitation, open space areas listed in Section 8.24.030 of this Code.
"Code" means this Municipal Code of the City of Nevada City.
"Code of Conduct" means a list of restrictions regulating conduct of campers to minimize potential adverse impacts of temporary camping, lodging and overnight stays on the City and its residents to be drawn up by the Police Chief in cooperation with interested persons and agencies and periodically reported by the City Council.
"Local involuntarily homeless person" means someone with substantial ties to Nevada City who has no viable option for overnight stays by reason of being unable to afford to payor otherwise arrange for alternative overnight accommodations in a more suitable location.
"Municipal parking lot" means any city-owned, leased, or managed public parking facility.
"Offstreet parking facility" has the meaning given to it in California
Vehicle Code §14605(c).
"Police officer" includes members of the volunteer police reserve, and community service officers, in addition to the chief of police and regular officers of the police department.
"Public property" means any property open to public use and includes "City Properties", "Municipal parking lots", "Offstreet parking facilities" open to public use, "public ways", and "Recreational Areas".
"Public way" means any sidewalk, street, or other public right-of-way.
"Recreational Areas" means any area owned or operated by the City and open to the general public for recreational purposes, including, without limitation, parks, picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, walking paths, trails, and bike paths and those facilities listed in Section 8.24.03 of this Code.
There is hereby added to Chapter 9.14 of the Nevada City Municipal Code a new Section 9.14.045 which is to read as follows:
Section 9.14.045 Camping prohibited without approval.
A. Except as otherwise expressly exempted in subsection B, it is unlawful for any person to camp, lodge, or stay overnight within Nevada City in or on public property, municipal parking lots or offstreet parking facilities open to public use, public ways, City Properties, and Recreational Areas without advance notice to and written approval from the Nevada City Police Chief or his designated representative pursuant to subsection C or on any private property without first obtaining permission of the owner and making adequate arrangements to assure sanitary conditions and proper waste disposal. This prohibition shall apply whether or not such person is camping or lodging within or without any automobile, van, motor home, trailer coach, tent or other place of shelter.
B. Provided that adequate measures have been taken to assure sanitary conditions and proper waste disposal and there is compliance with City noise control regulations in Chapter 8.20 of this Code, any rules and regulations adopted for the area, and the camper's Code of Conduct, the prohibition in subsection A shall not apply to prohibit:
1. overnight stays for a single night in an inconspicuous location not conflicting with permitted uses in the area by an involuntarily homeless person who has no other viable options because they are unable to afford to payor otherwise arrange for alternative sleeping accommodations in a more suitable location and there is a current lack of available beds in area homeless shelters;
2. temporarily resting in a properly parked vehicle for a short period of time, not to exceed eight (hours), in a single location that does not conflict with permitted uses in the vicinity when necessary to avoid driving unsafely;
3. temporary camping, lodging or overnight stays in vehicles intended for that purpose that are properly parked immediately adjacent to privately owned residential property with the permission of that owner; or
4. temporary camping, lodging or overnight stays not exceeding seventy-eight hours in vehicles intended for that purpose properly parked occupied by a local involuntarily homeless person.
C. The Police Chief or his designated representative, subject to reporting to and review by the City Council, may establish criteria for approval of and issue permits for non-exempt temporary camping, lodging or overnight stay permits that protect the health, safety, and welfare of the permittees and the public that, at a minimum require appropriate measures to assure sanitary conditions, proper waste disposal, adequate water sources, adequate buffering from adjacent rights-of-way, subject to the permittees' agreement to and compliance with a Code of Conduct and impose additional conditions including time, location and numbers on his approval as he deems necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare and, subject to fee waivers based upon need, payment of a reasonable fee for review of applications in an amount to be set by resolution. Notwithstanding the restrictions of this section, the City may, by resolution adopt a permit process and appropriate rules and regulations to allow camping or overnight stays, subject to a reasonable fee, in or on designated public property under certain conditions in special circumstances.
STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION & SEVERABILITY: It is the intent of the City Council of the City of Nevada City to supplement applicable state and federal law and not to duplicate or contradict such law and this ordinance shall be construed consistently with that intention. If any section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this ordinance, or its application to any person or circumstance, is for any reason held to be invalid or unenforceable, such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining sections, subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses or phrases of this ordinance, or its application to any other person or circumstance. The City Council of the City of Nevada City hereby declares that it would have adopted each section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase hereof, irrespective of the fact that anyone or more other sections, subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses or phrases hereof be declared invalid or unenforceable.
This Ordinance shall become effective thirty (30) days after the adoption date thereof and within fifteen (15) days of the passage of this Ordinance, the City Clerk shall publish this Ordinance in The Union, a newspaper of general circulation.
PASSED AND ADOPTED at a regularly scheduled meeting of the City Council of Nevada City held this 1 ih day of December, 2012 by the following vote:
AYES: STRAWSER, HARRIS, RAY, ANDERSEN, BERGMAN
ABSENT: NONE ____/S/______________________
Duane Strawser, Mayor
Niel Locke, City Clerk
Publish: December 20, 2012 Ad #8724477
* Marker on map represents general location for this ad.