The Eugene City Council on Monday, April 12, unanimously passed a motion to hold a public hearing on an ordinance to create more safe and lawful places for people to sleep. The Council also approved a motion to hold a work session to address vehicle camping in commercial and industrial areas.
The proposed ordinance would allow for the temporary establishment of “safe parking” and “safe tent” sites that could provide options for individuals to legally park their vehicles or sleep in tents. These sites would accommodate a larger number of vehicles or tents than currently allowed by code. The intent of the additional sites would be to transition individuals currently camping in areas throughout the city, including in parks, open spaces, rights of way, and City property to legal spaces to sleep that are managed and have services to ensure health and safety.
The ordinance would allow the sites to be immediately established and would remain in effect until May 1, 2023. A public hearing on the ordinance will be held on April 26.
The other motion directed staff to return with a proposal related to no parking zones and limited duration parking in industrial areas to address commercial access. It is anticipated that information will be presented at an April 26 work session.
The April 12 work session focused on City responses to the current homelessness crisis, the exacerbating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, community-wide impacts, and a six-month plan to address the number of unsheltered individuals in Eugene.
City staff have been meeting with social service providers to understand provider capacity to support new sanctioned sites.