Topeka City Council to decide on camping ordinance

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Members of the Topeka City Council will vote on a camping ordinance at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The camping ordinance is something city leaders have been discussing since may of 2018.

The ordinance would restrict camping in the following places:

  • In or under public infrastructure (bridges, overpasses, flood control works and bus shelters)
  • Within 10 feet of any doorway, loading dock, stairway or fire escape
  • Within certain areas like downtown and the NOTO district

Councilwoman Sylvia Ortiz is the chair for the Public Health and Safety Committee and introduced the ordinance.

She said the issue was first brought to her attention by business owners who were concerned about people camping on their property.

“It will help the business owners so they feel like they are protected,” said Ortiz. “Then, also the homeless population will know that we’re still going to continue to help them and that they will know where they can go and get help and how they can be helped.”

According to Ortiz, working with the homeless to get them back in the community has been a big focus for the committee as they worked to address the camping issue.

Over the past year in a half, the committee has discussed several approaches. Ortiz said she’s confident they’ll pass the ordinance and finally find a solution to the problem.

You can find more details about the ordinance HERE.

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