May 26, 2024

Ashland drafts urban camping restrictions after opening homeless shelter

With the opening of a new homeless shelter in Ashland last week, city officials are now developing an urban camping ban.

Ashland City Council members met Monday night to discuss a proposed ordinance to limit urban camping. It is being designed in accordance with new state laws about when and where people can be barred from sleeping in public. HB 3115 was passed by the state Legislature in 2021 but went into effect in July 2023.

The ordinance, in its draft form, would place restrictions for camping in certain public spaces in Ashland, define rules for camping in vehicles and set rules on when and how a campsite can be torn down. There are some exceptions for people who are considered involuntarily homeless, such as people who may have become homeless temporarily because of financial or health reasons.