Chapter 12.32


12.32.010    Findings and purpose.

12.32.020    Definitions.

12.32.030    Unlawful camping.

12.32.040    Special event permit.

12.32.050    Storage of personal property on public or private property.

12.32.060    Penalty for violation.

12.32.010 Findings and purpose.

A.    Within the last year, the City of Healdsburg has seen a dramatic increase in the number of persons living in public parks and on private property on which the public has a right of access, especially along the creek beds and river banks of the Russian River.

B.    Persons who camp on public property or private property along which the public has access create a number of public nuisance impacts, including:

1.    Unsanitary conditions resulting from human waste and trash;

2.    Interference with the use of the property by other members of the public;

3.    Interference with the use of commercial and residential property located nearby; and

4.    Risk of uncontrolled fires from camping or cooking fires.

C.    The public nuisance impacts described in subsection (B)(2) of this section result from camping in cars, trucks, and other vehicles as well as camping in the open.

D.    The streets, parks, rights-of-way, and other public areas within the City should be readily accessible to residents and the public at large.

E.    Private property within the City should be reserved for lawful use as approved by the owners of said property.

F.    The use of public and private property within the City for camping purposes interferes with the rights of others to use those areas for the purposes for which they were intended.

G.    Camping activities frequently lack adequate provision for fire safety, sanitation, and refuse disposal and therefore constitute public health and safety hazards which adversely affect the public health, safety, and welfare of the community, as well as private property rights.

H.    The purpose of this chapter is to maintain streets, parks, rights-of-way, and other public and private areas within the City in a safe, clean, sanitary, and accessible condition in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community. (Ord. 1028 § 1, 2005. Code 1964 § 14B-1.)

12.32.020 Definitions.

The following words shall have the following meanings when used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

A.    “Camp” or “camping” means use of land for living accommodation purposes such as sleeping activities, or making preparations to sleep (including the laying down of bedding for the purpose of sleeping), or storing personal belongings, or making any fire, or using any tents or other structures for sleeping or doing any digging or earth breaking or carrying on cooking activities. Such activities constitute camping when it reasonably appears, in light of all the circumstances, that the participants are using the area as a living accommodation regardless of the intent of the participants or the nature of any other activities in which they may also be engaging.

B.    “Camp facilities” are shelters lasting for more than one day at a time, including, but not limited to, shelters made from ropes, clothing, sheets, tarpaulins, tents, huts, motor vehicles, or recreational vehicles when established, maintained, or operated for camping.

C.    “Camp paraphernalia” includes, but is not limited to, bedrolls, blankets, tarpaulins, cots, beds, sleeping bags, tents, hammocks, items used for cooking food or similar equipment. Camp paraphernalia also includes other personal effects when used or stored with camp paraphernalia as described herein.

D.    “City” means the City of Healdsburg, including any officers, officials, agents, employees, volunteers, or representatives of the City of Healdsburg.

E.    “Establish” means setting up or moving equipment, supplies, or materials onto public or private property to camp.

F.    “Human habitation” means use of a parked motor vehicle or recreational vehicle to camp.

G.    “Maintain” means keeping or permitting equipment, supplies, or materials to remain on public or private property in order to camp or operate camp facilities.

H.    “Operate” means participating or assisting in establishing or maintaining a camp or camp facility.

I.    “Private property” means all private property including, but not limited to, streets, sidewalks, alleys, improved or unimproved land.

J.    “Public property” means all public property including, but not limited to, streets, sidewalks, alleys, and improved or unimproved land and parks.

K.    “Recreational vehicle” means a recreational vehicle as defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 18010.

L.    “Recreational vehicle park” or “mobile home park” means any area of land within the City licensed pursuant to the California Health and Safety Code as a mobile home park, as defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 18214, or a special occupancy park as defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 18862.43, which has a currently effective City business license, and in which space is rented or held out for camping.

M.    “Store” means to put aside or accumulate for use when needed, to put for safekeeping, or to place or leave in a location.

N.    “Street” means a street, alley, way, or place of whatever nature, publicly or privately maintained for purposes of vehicular travel. “Street” includes highway, as that term is defined in the California Vehicle Code. (Ord. 1028 § 1, 2005. Code 1964 § 14B-2.)

12.32.030 Unlawful camping.

Except as provided in subsections (B)(1) through (B)(4) of this section, it is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to camp, establish, maintain, operate or occupy camp facilities, or use camp paraphernalia in the following areas:

A.    Any public property; or

B.    Any private property; provided, however, that this prohibition does not apply to:

1.    Overnight camping on private residential property by friends or family of the property owner or person in lawful possession of the property, so long as the owner or lawful occupant consents, and the camping does not create a public or private nuisance;

2.    Mobile home parks and special occupancy parks;

3.    Camping in public parks pursuant to a validly issued permit from the City in accordance with Chapter 12.28 HMC; and

4.    Camping on public or private property in connection with a special event, when authorized pursuant to HMC 12.32.040. (Ord. 1028 § 1, 2005. Code 1964 § 14B-3.)

12.32.040 Special event permit.

The City Manager or his or her designee may issue a permit pursuant to this section authorizing overnight camping on public or private property for a special event, provided he or she finds that the event will not cause a public or private nuisance when conducted in accordance with reasonable conditions intended to avoid nuisance impacts. “Special event,” as used herein, means an event sponsored by the City or a nonprofit or community-based organization of not more than 72 hours’ duration which is conducted for the purpose of promoting sports, education, or other charitable activities.

A.    The City Manager or his or her designee shall require a written application from the sponsoring organization for camping in connection with a special event. No such application shall be required for a City-sponsored event. The application shall contain such information as the City Manager shall determine necessary in order to assure compliance with this section.

B.    The sponsoring organization must agree in writing to abide by any reasonable conditions imposed in connection with the issuance of a permit, which shall include, at a minimum:

1.    Special event insurance with coverage and policy limits determined to be adequate by the City in consultation with its liability insurer;

2.    An agreement to indemnify and defend the City against any claims arising out of the event;

3.    Provision for adequate sanitation and trash collection facilities;

4.    Measures to control noise and other conditions which could disturb the peace and quiet enjoyment of neighboring properties.

C.    Any failure to comply with a condition imposed on a sponsoring organization shall be considered a violation of this chapter, shall entitle the City Manager to deny a future application by such organization, and shall be subject to any other remedies authorized by this code or other provisions of law. (Ord. 1028 § 1, 2005. Code 1964 § 14B-4.)

12.32.050 Storage of personal property on public or private property.

It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to store camp paraphernalia in the following areas:

A.    Any public property; or

B.    Outside a structure on any private property without the prior written consent of the owner. (Ord. 1028 § 1, 2005. Code 1964 § 14B-5.)

12.32.060 Penalty for violation.

Any violation of this chapter shall be deemed an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $100.00 for a first offense, and, for a second or subsequent offense, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $300.00 or imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed 30 days or by both fine and imprisonment. A violation of this chapter may also be enforced as a public nuisance using any of the remedies provided in Chapter 1.12 HMC. (Ord. 1028 § 1, 2005. Code 1964 § 14B-6.)