The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pass two anti-camping measures that would allow the for removal of some homeless encampments, specifically along the American River Parkway and near critical public infrastructure. The area along the American River Parkway in recent years has been the source of many grass fires due to un-manned campfires left by the homeless along the river. The County says these measures will not ensure a wide-scale clearing of camps across the region, but that the County has a moral and legal obligation to provide those unhoused with proper resources and shelter information to encourage relocation.
In addition to the measure that would target the American River Parkway, another measure was passed that would add restrictions to camping near critical infrastructure. The new County Code prohibits camping and encampments in the following priority areas:
- In, on or within 25 feet of critical infrastructure or the entrance/exit of critical infrastructure
- Up to 1,000 feet of a location providing year-round overnight shelter to people experiencing homelessness and the entrance/exit to such locations
- Inside of, or within 30 feet of wildfire and flood risk areas during severe weather
- Within 25 feet of a youth-serving facility, defined as public or private primary or secondary schools and public libraries
Supervisor Don Nottoli voiced his support for the ordinances before the voting Wednesday evening:
"I don't come to it with tremendous reservations. I do have concerns though about what it means and what we're actually going to be able to accomplish. If we don't try in some respects to deal in real time with some of the problems we see, I think we just become more and more frozen in our ability to actually make some progress."
The board voted on the two measures at Wednesday's meeting, passing both. They'll be brought back to the Board on Aug. 23 for adoption, with implementation 30 days later.