Chapter 12.65


12.65.010    Purpose.

12.65.020    Definitions.

12.65.030    Unlawful camping.

12.65.040    Special events permit.

12.65.050    Storage of personal property on public or private property.

12.65.060    Penalty for violation.

12.65.010 Purpose.

The streets and public areas within the City of Livermore need to be readily accessible and available to residents and the public at large. The use of these areas for camping purposes or storage of personal property interferes with the rights of others to use these areas for which they were intended. Such activity can also constitute a public health and safety hazard, which adversely impacts other members of the public, neighborhoods and commercial areas. The purpose of this chapter is to maintain public and private lands, streets, sidewalks, alleys, ways, creeks, waterways, parks, playgrounds, recreation areas, plazas, open spaces, lots, parcels and other public and private areas within the City, in a clean, sanitary and accessible condition. Further, the purpose of this chapter is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community, while recognizing that, subject to reasonable conditions, camping and camping facilities associated with special events can be beneficial to the cultural and educational well-being of city residents. Nothing in this chapter is intended to interfere with otherwise lawful and ordinary uses of public or private property.

The unauthorized or inappropriate use of outdoor cooking equipment, open flame, fires or stoves of any sort typically associated with camping creates a major fire threat to life, safety and property, including public and private property, open lands, and hillsides. Illegal campsites are typically located in areas where high levels of combustible vegetation are located (e.g., wooded areas), which creates an even higher level of a fire threat.

Camping adjacent to, within, or below the top of banks of creeks or streams poses a health and safety risk from potential flooding, proximity to unstable banks with slippage potential, health risks from human waste entering into creeks, streams, or other waterways and the risk of damage to environmentally sensitive habitat and species known to exist in some portions of the City, such as creeks, streams, waterways, and wetlands. (Ord. 2065 § 1(A), 2018; Ord. 1993 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014)

12.65.020 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 public property or private property where there is public access for living accommodation purposes such as: sleeping activities, or making preparations to sleep (including the laying down of bedding for the purpose of sleeping); storing personal belongings; making any fire; using tents or other structures for sleeping; digging or earth breaking; and/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” or “camping facility” means a temporary living accommodation lasting for more than one day at a time, including, but not limited to, shelters made from ropes, clothing, sheets, tarpaulins, tents, and/or huts which are maintained and/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 any other equipment used to “camp.” “Camp paraphernalia” also includes other personal effects when used or stored with camp paraphernalia as described herein.

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

E. “Establish” means setting up or moving paraphernalia onto public property or private property where there is public access for the purpose of camping.

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

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

H. “Street” or “public streets” means avenues, highways, lanes, alleys, ways, crossings or intersections, co-routes and cul-de-sacs that have been dedicated and accepted according to law, or which have been in common and undisputed use by the public for a period of not less than five years from the effective date of the ordinance enacting this chapter. “Streets” and “public streets” does not include privately owned streets unless the context clearly provides otherwise. (Ord. 2065 § 1(A), 2018; Ord. 1993 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014)

12.65.030 Unlawful camping.

It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to camp, establish, maintain, operate or occupy camping facilities, or use camp paraphernalia in the following areas:

A. Any public property, improved or unimproved, including but not limited to public streets and sidewalks, open space, and other property, not including a space or stall in an off-street parking facility owned or operated by the City; or

B. Any private property where the public has right of access.

This prohibition does not apply to:

1. Overnight camping on private residential property with the consent of the property owner or a person in lawful possession of the property, provided the camping does not pose a threat to the public’s health, safety, and welfare or otherwise create a public nuisance or private nuisance;

2. Mobile home parks and special occupancy parks;

3. Camping on public or private property in connection with a special event, when authorized pursuant to LMC 12.65.040; and

4. Day use for lawful activities on public property where authorized. (Ord. 2065 § 1(A), 2018; Ord. 1993 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014)

12.65.040 Special events permit.

The City may issue a permit pursuant to this section authorizing overnight camping on public or private property for a special event, provided the Community Development Director, or his/her designee, 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 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; and

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

B. Any failure to comply with a condition imposed on a sponsoring organization shall be considered a violation of this chapter and shall entitle the Community Development Director or his/her designee 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. 2065 § 1(A), 2018; Ord. 2045 § 1(B), 2016; Ord. 2016 § 1(B), 2015; Ord. 1993 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014)

12.65.050 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. Any storage on private property shall be subject to all local and state regulatory controls. (Ord. 1993 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014)

12.65.060 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 as 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 for any subsequent violations within a single calendar year. A violation of this chapter may also be enforced as a public nuisance using any of the remedies provided in Chapter 1.20 LMC. (Ord. 2016 § 1(L), 2015; Ord. 1993 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014)