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Denver Camping Ordinance Draft

Denver Camping Ordinance Draft

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Categories:Types, Legal forms
Published by: Nick on Apr 25, 2012
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07/10/2013

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ExecutiveSummaryProposedcity-wideordinancetoprohibitunauthorizedcamping
ManycitiesandtownsthroughouttheUnitedStateshaveadoptedordinancesthatprohibitunauthorizedcampingonpublicandprivateproperty.Whilecampingrestrictionshavesometimesbeensubjectedtolegalchallenges,stateandfederalcourts(includingtheU.S.SupremeCourt)havegenerallyupheldlawsprohibitingtheactofcampingonpublicpropertywithoutapermitorotherproperauthorization.Asrecentlyaslastyear,theDistrictCourtinBoulderCountyupheldaBoulderordinanceprohibitingcampingonanypublicpropertyinthatcity.Also,inthelastsixmonthsanumberoffederaldistrictcourtsaroundthecountryhaveupheldlocalno-campingordinancesandsimilarlawsinlitigationarisingoutoftheOccupyWallStreetmovement.Municipalordinancesprohibitingunauthorizedcampingareadoptedunderthepolicepowerandarejustifiedonthebasisofprotectingthehealth,safetyandgeneralwelfareofthepublic.
It
isappropriatetoprohibitcampinguponpropertywhichisnotintendedordesignedtobeusedforthatpurposebecause:(1)itcreatesanunsafeandpotentiallydisorderlyenvironmentforthepersonsengagedinthecampingaswellaspersonscomingintocontactwiththecampers;(2)itcreatesunsanitaryandunhealthfulconditionsthatmayaffectboththecampersandthegeneralpublic;(3)ittendstodegradeorevendestroythepropertyuponwhichthecampingisoccurring,particularlywheretheencampmentislargeandongoing;and(4)itdetractsfromtheuseofthepropertyforitsintendedpurpose.Asexplainedbelow,therearecurrentlyanumberofotherstateandcitylawsregulatingtheunauthorizeduseofpublicandprivatepropertygenerally.However,Denverhasnoexistinglawwhichspecificallyanddirectlyprohibitstheactofunauthorizedcampingonacity-widebasis.Theproposedordinancewilldoso,definingtheword"camping"toincludeanytemporaryhabitationonpublicorprivatepropertyaccompaniedbytheuseofanyformofshelterfromtheelements.Theproposedordinancewould
not
prohibitthemereactofsleepingonpublicorprivateproperty.
Note:Theproposedordinanceincludesspecialprovisionswhichlimittheauthorityofthepolicetociteorarrestanyoneforviolatingtheordinancebefore:(A)issuingverbalandwrittenwarnings;and(B)invokingtheassistanceofahumanservicesoutreach.workertoassesstheneedsofthecamper.Theselimitationsareidenticaltotheprovisionsofthe2005
"sit-lie"
ordinancewhichrestricttheactofsittingorlyingonthe
surface
ofstreetsandsidewalksinthedowntownarea.
1
 
Thefollowingisalistofotherrelatedstateandcitylawsthatarealreadyonthebooks:Denverordinancescurrentlyprohibittheactofunauthorized"camping"andovernightsleepingonly"inoruponanypark,parkway,mountainpark,orotherrecreationalfacility."§39-7,D.R.M.C.Denverparksarealsosubjecttoanovernightcurfewinanyevent,withoutregardtowhetherornotapersonmaytechnicallybe"camping."§39-3,D.R.M.C.Otherexistingstateandcitylaws,withoutspecificallymentioningtheactofcamping,maybeinterpretedtoapplytopersonswhowouldcamponpublicproperty,particularlywhencampingwouldinterferewiththeuseofthepublicpropertybyothers.Forexample:oCitylawprohibitsanyandallunauthorized"encumbrances"onstreetsandsidewalks.§49-246,D.R.M.C.oStateandcitylawsprohibitanyobstructionofanystreetorsidewalk("torenderimpassableortorenderpassageunreasonablyinconvenientorhazardous").§38-86,D.R.M.C.o
It
isgenerallyunlawfultotrespassonprivatepropertyforthepurposeofcampingoranyotherpurposewithouttheconsentoftheowner.§38-115,D.R.M.C.o
It
isalsounlawfultotrespassonpublicpropertywheneverthepropertyhasbeen"closed"andnoticeoftheclosureisgivenwithsigns.
§
38-86,D.R.M.C.(ThislawhasbeenusedtoprohibitovernightcampingandsleepingonthegroundsoftheCityandCountyBuilding.)oUnderstatelaw,itisgenerallyunlawfultoconductanyactivityonpublicpropertyinviolationofanyruleorregulationpromulgatedby"anyofficeroragencyhavingthepowerofcontrol,managementorsupervisionofthebuildingorproperty."
§
18-9-117,C.R.S.
In
2005Denveradoptedanordinancegenerallyprohibitingtheactofsittingorlyingonthesurfaceofthepublicright-of-wayintheDowntownDenverBusinessImprovementDistrictonly,andonlybetweenthehoursof7:00a.m.and9:00p.m.
§
38-86.1,D.R.M.C.Noexistingcityordinancespecificallyaddressesovernightcampingorsleepingonpublicpropertyinthedowntownarea.
2
 
TITLEII-REVISEDMUNICIPALCODEChapter38-OFFENSES,MISCELLANEOUSPROVISIONS
Chapter38-OFFENSES,MISCELLANEOUSPROVISIONS
[171J
(171)
CaseJawannotation-
Violationofanordinancewhichisofthecounterpartofacriminalstatuteshouldbetriedandpunishedundertheprotectionapplicabletocriminalcaseseventhoughprosecutedinamunicipalcourt.Zerobnickv.Denver,139Colo.139,337P.2d11(1959)
(171)
Crossreference-
Court,Ch.14;environmentaltobaccosmokecontrol,
§
24-301etseq.;offensesaffectingminors,
§
34-41etseq.;offensesbyminors,
§
34-61etseq.;nuisancesgenerally,Ch.37;police,Ch.42;trafficregulations,Ch.54.ARTICLEI.-INGENERALARTICLEII.-OBSTRUCTIONOFJUSTICEARTICLEIII.-OFFENSESAGAINSTPROPERTYARTICLEIV.-OFFENSESAGAINSTPUBLICORDERANDSAFETYARTICLEV.-OFFENSESRELATINGTOMORALSARTICLEVI.-OFFENSESRELATINGTORAILROADSANDBUSSYSTEMSDenver,Colorado,CodeofOrdinancesPage1of1

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