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Poway inches closer to approving ordinance to remove homeless encampments

City Council members voted in favor of the ordinance that is expected to go into effect in late June.

POWAY, Calif. — The City of Poway has voted in favor of a new ordinance that could clear out homeless encampments.

City Council members voted in favor of the ordinance that is expected to go into effect in late June.

Families in Poway have complained about seeing people live inside their cars and RVs.

During Tuesday's meeting council members said they believe a stronger policy is still needed.  

The ordinance would give the Sheriff's Department and the city the tools to abate unlawful encampments. With the council voting in favor of the ordinance, Poway is one step closer to adopting the law. 

The ordinance would allow the sheriff’s department to clear out encampments with a 24-hour notice, personal property will be stored for at least 90 days. 

Local moms cited concerns over growing makeshift encampments near elementary schools.

The measure is also to prepare for what some people believe will be an influx of homeless people who might decide to migrate to other cities if the City of San Diego adopts its ban on homeless encampments on city sidewalks. 

“School kids having to see that and it was getting worse and worse and there were tarps being put up," said Brian Pepin, Poway City Councilmember.

During the public comment section in Tuesday's meeting, many seemed to be in favor of the ordinance, but neighbors want resources for unsheltered people first.

“Always make contact they will advise the person of rules and regulations of the public concern and then they will always offer a bed or a different location,” said Sheriff Nancy Blanco 

The city says the ordinance will ensure safety and keep public spaces for its intended purposes.

“I'm glad resources are being prioritized before enforcement," said Mayor Steve Vaus.

Critics said this is the start of a domino effect where vulnerable unsheltered people are caught in the middle of it. 

The adoption of the ordinance will take place at the next city council meeting on June 20.

WATCH RELATED:City of Poway considers ordinance Tuesday to allow city to remove homeless encampments (June 2023).



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