PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Salem city councilors voted Monday night to change the city’s homeless camping rules to comply with state laws that were passed in 2021.
In early 2020, the Salem City Council passed rules restricting people from sitting or lying on public sidewalks during the day, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The current city code says people can’t leave their tents and belongings unattended, but the city says it never enforces this.
The new law the city council passed requires the city to give a 72-hour notice before removing a camp and requires jurisdictions to allow people access to the property that is collected when a camp is removed.
The law still requires that camps allow for a 36-inch ADA pedestrian path on walkways.
Camping restrictions will still be enforced in parks, building entrances, residential zones, near existing centers and other areas designated by the Salem city manager as no camping.
The city is not allowed to issue criminal penalties, including fines, to a person who is homeless and who does not have access to shelter.
The ordinance will go into effect on June 22.