Division IV. Urban Camping

Chapter 8.50


8.50.010    Definitions.

8.50.020    Prohibited acts.

8.50.030    Penalties.

8.50.010 Definitions.

A. “Camp” or “camping” means the use of public property as a temporary or permanent place of dwelling, lodging or residence, or as a living accommodation at any time. Indications of camping may include, but are not limited to, burning a fire, carrying on cooking or food preparation activities, storing personal belongings, laying down bedding or other articles for sleeping, using tents or temporary structures for shelter, sleeping or storing of personal belongings. Such activities constitute camping when it reasonably appears under the circumstances that the participants are using the area as a living accommodation, no matter how temporary.

B. “Public property” means any public school, park, playground, street, sidewalk, right-of-way, highway, alleyway, wash, bike path, trail, transit stop or facility, natural park, preserve or land whether improved or unimproved, or attraction, structure, facility, parking lot, or property open for public use.

C. “Shelter space with homeless supportive services” means any overnight temporary housing shelter that offers at least one service to assist an individual or family unit experiencing homelessness and at no charge. For example, a service might include a temporary place to sleep, food availability, shower/bath facilities, social services referrals like counseling, basic needs, housing, employment, identification services and health care. (These are examples and do not reflect all available services from public or private shelters.) [Ord. 2021-156 § 1.]

8.50.020 Prohibited acts.

A. The intent of this chapter is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents, business owners and the public at large within the town limits of the town of Sahuarita, and to assure all public property is readily accessible, clean and sanitary. It is not intended to interfere with otherwise lawful and ordinary uses of public property.

B. No person shall camp on any public property, unless it is an area specifically authorized for camping or the person possesses a town of Sahuarita permit allowing camping in the area.

C. This chapter does not apply to temporary structures or camps set up by a government agency or relief workers during a disaster or emergency situation.

D. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to criminalize homelessness, target a homeless community, or otherwise criminalize an individual’s status rather than conduct.

E. Law enforcement officers shall not enforce subsection B of this section when there is no available shelter space with homeless supportive services within 50 miles of the town limits of the town of Sahuarita. [Ord. 2021-156 § 1.]

8.50.030 Penalties.

Any person convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable according to the laws of the state of Arizona. [Ord. 2021-156 § 1.]