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Downtown San Diego homeless encampments removed around Petco Park ahead of Opening Day

The City of San Diego had crews out this week clearing homeless encampments around Petco Park.

SAN DIEGO — As part of the preparations for Padres Opening Day, the City of San Diego is also moving homeless encampments. The city has had crews out this week clearing the sidewalks around Petco Park.

Signs had been posted downtown giving three-hour notices for cleanup and property removal.

"It reinforces the need for those immediately available beds so that people have a brighter place to move," said Drew Moser, the executive director of the Lucky Duck Foundation.

Moser said Safe Villages could quickly house hundreds of people using large pop-up tents. A city-owned underutilized parking lot in Balboa Park is being looked at as a potential site

"We're fully prepared to be a constructive and collaborative partner with the city to activate that property and others to provide those immediate pathways off the street," he said.

City leaders visited the lot in January but the Lucky Duck Foundation says it's unclear when a Safe Village might be going there. This comes as the city has proposed an ordinance that would ban camping on public property and sidewalks. 

"We are going to add locations for people to go. With locations to go, we're going to say there should be no encampments on public property," said Councilmember Stephen Whitburn.

CBS 8 reached out to the city and received the following statement about homeless encampments being removed around Petco Park.

“The City anticipates a significant increase in pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the East Village area this week and is obligated to keep the public right of way passable and safe for everyone, including unsheltered neighbors. In addition to daily outreach efforts offering people shelter and services, the City will be ensuring the public right of way is clear and free for travel and removing any trash and debris.”

WATCH RELATED: What you can expect at Petco Park for Opening Day (March 2023).

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