Council to Vote on Homeless Encampment Ban

Los Angeles City Council to continue controversial item November 24

By Sam Catanzaro

Los Angeles lawmakers are set to vote on a bill that would allow the removal of homeless encampments anywhere in the city if officials first offer shelter to unhoused individuals. 

The ordinance would also allow City of Los Angeles officials to remove homeless encampments at freeway underpasses, near homeless shelters and in areas that restrict ADA access if unhoused individuals were first offered shelter.

The “legislation…will replace out-of-date laws, clarify how we can keep our streets and sidewalks clean, increase ADA access and bring us more in line with US Judge David O. Carter’s direction in the LA Alliance v. City/County of LA case,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, one of the motion’s co-authors. 

On October 28, City Council debated the bill for hours before Council President Nury Martinez opted continue the vote on the controversial proposal on November 24. 

The ordinance was drafted by Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer after it was requested recently by several members of City Council including Blumenfield. 

Among those who are opposed to the ordinance include Councilmember Mike Bonin who represents Pacific Palisades and much of the Westside. 

“It is reasonable to prohibit sleeping and lying on our sidewalks — IF genuine alternatives are truly available and accessible. But they are not. Without those housing alternatives, the ban on sleeping presented by the City Attorney would only serve to push encampments deeper into residential neighborhoods,” Bonin said. “That’s why I support commandeering underutilized hotels and motels for immediate use as homeless housing. This is an emergency situation and it requires emergency action, and using the hotels and motels will provide fast options for getting people off the streets and into housing.” 

A counter-proposal that did not pass by Bonin and Councilmember David Ryu called for what Bonin calls a “more aggressive approaches to providing housing, shelter and services”. 

At the center of the debate is a 2018 federal court ruling in the case Martin v. City of Boise which bars cities from punishing individuals from sleeping on public property unless they provide sufficient and accessible indoor housing.

“As long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property,” reads the ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which includes both Idaho and California. 

In the decision, which ruled a City of Boise law penalizing homelessness unconstitutional, citing the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment, the court did give cities leeway to prohibit sleeping in public in certain situations. 

“Even where shelter is unavailable, an ordinance prohibiting sitting, lying, or sleeping outside at particular times or in particular locations might well be constitutionally permissible,” the decision reads.

According to Blumenfield, there is now a “plethora of beds locally” and therefore the city’s laws should be updated. 

“Since the ‘Boise decision’ from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the City of Los Angeles hasn’t been able to enforce laws against camping on sidewalks because shelters for the unhoused population were not available. Now that we are creating a plethora of beds locally, it’s time to bring our laws in line with the Boise decision and also draft regulations for sensitive areas like freeway underpasses and transit corridors,” Blumenfield said. “I’ve been speaking with community stakeholders about creating new ‘cabin communities’ and building Bridge Housing. I am often asked what will be done to make sure that unhoused people won’t set up camp around these sites. Part of this motion will ban living outside of the new interim housing sites. The goal is to house people, not have to enforce these laws.” 

Related Posts

Girls Learn Self Defense at Empowerment Summer Camp for Girls

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

This summer, girls are invited to explore practical self defense training at SHIELD Women’s Self Defense’s 2024 Empowerment Summer Camp...

Marina del Rey Apartment Shooter Faces 20 Felony Charges, Could Spend Life in Prison

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The Self-Employed Chef Is Being Held in Lieu of Over $5M Bail By Zach Armstrong A man accused of firing over...

Brentwood Art Center: Kids Explore Fundamentals of Drawing, Painting and Mixed Media

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The beloved Brentwood Art Center is hosting summer camps at its new location at Olympic and 17th in Santa Monica. ...

Camp Integem: Explore, Design and Innovate with Future Tech

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

This summer, kids are inviting to make magic as they journey into the fun-filled, hands-on world of artificial intelligence (AI),...

(Video) Mayor & Vice Mayor of Santa Monica Speak Out Against Needle Exchange Program

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

The Demonstration was Organized by the Santa Monica Coalition @palisadesnews A Santa Monica rally has held against the needle exchange...

Los Angeles County District Attorney Announces Charges In Brutal Venice Sexual Assaults

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Charges Filed Against Suspect in Venice Canals Case by LADA George Gascon Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has...

Ye Slashes Price of Malibu Pad by $14M

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Ye’s real estate investment hasn’t yielded positive returns Controversial rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West, now known as Ye, continues efforts...

Measles Infected Traveler Visited Santa Monica Pier, Public Health Officials Warn

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Authorities Urge Individuals Who Were at The Specified Venues to Monitor Their Health The California Department of Public Health notified...

GoFundMe Raises Over $84K for Venice Canal Attack Victim

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

The Victim Received at Least Eight Fractures to Her Jaw, a Large Laceration to the Back of Her Head and...

Kids Learn Local Waters in Aquarium Science Camp

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

This summer, kids have the opportunity to engage in science and learn about the fascinating water systems in Santa Monica...

Saint Monica Prep: Mariner Sports Camps Focus on Fundamentals

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Teams at Saint Monica Preparatory took big wins this winter season.  The coaches leading an undefeated girls’ soccer team, winning...

Sophie Dance West Dance Camp Enrolling Now

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Calling all Swifties! Sophie Dance West, an all-inclusive kids dance studio that welcomes any skill level from beginner to highly...

Earth Day Cleanup Coming to Will Rogers Beach

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Attendees Are Encouraged to Wear Active/Comfortable Clothing and Bring a Reusable Water Bottle By Zach Armstrong The Will Rogers Beach...

Ulta Beauty Burglary Suspects Apprehended

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Detectives Suspect These Individuals Are Part of a Larger Organized Retail Theft Ring Several suspects in a recent burglary at...

(Video) The LAPD Announces the Arrest of a Suspect in the Horrific Attacks on Two Women on April 6 in the Venice Canal Area

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

At a press conference on Friday, City leaders announced an arrest. @palisadesnews The LAPD Announces the Arrest of a Suspect...