Chapter 8.74


8.74.010    Public camping—Prohibited—Definitions.

8.74.020    Public camping—Penalty.

8.74.030    Public camping—When prohibition may be enforced.

8.74.040    Removal of personal property.

8.74.010 Public camping—Prohibited—Definitions.

A.    Camping on any public property is prohibited.

B.    For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

1.    “Camping” means remaining overnight in a tent, hut, lean-to, or other temporary shelter or structure.

2.    “Public property” means all real property within the city limits in which the city has a property interest and which is reserved for any public purpose, including city-owned rights-of-way, parks, public facilities, easements, critical areas and buffers. (Ord. 1977-0921 § 1, 2021)

8.74.020 Public camping—Penalty.

The penalty for violation of Section 8.74.010 shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to ninety days in jail and a one thousand dollar fine; provided, however, that a misdemeanor shall not be charged unless all the provisions of Section 8.74.030 have been met. (Ord. 1977-0921 § 1, 2021)

8.74.030 Public camping—When prohibition may be enforced.

A.    Persons in violation of Section 8.74.010(A) may only be charged with a misdemeanor when all of the following conditions are met:

1.    A city of Shelton employee makes personal contact with the violator and advises them of the prohibition on public camping; and

2.    In response to contact by the employee, the violator either does not remove their camp or erects a camp on a different public property within the city; and

3.    A Shelton employee informs the violator of available indoor shelter and takes reasonable steps to help the violator access the indoor shelter; and

4.    The violator fails or refuses to utilize available shelter, the violator’s criminal record or sex offender status prohibits them from utilizing available shelter, or the shelter has declined to provide services to the violator due to the violator’s unsafe behavior.

B.    For purposes of this section, “available” means all of the following:

1.    The city has contacted the shelter to confirm that the shelter has bed space for the violator; and

2.    The shelter does not impose conditions that are unrelated to health, welfare and safety, such as a requirement to participate in religious activities; and

3.    The shelter is free to the violator; and

4.    The violator is able to arrange transportation to the shelter, or the city arranges transportation to the shelter, free of charge to the violator. (Ord. 1977-0921 § 1, 2021)

8.74.040 Removal of personal property.

Personal property associated with camping on public property, when such camping is in violation of this chapter, is subject to removal by the city. Materials that are toxic, dangerous, or obviously refuse may be disposed of immediately. Notice shall be provided to the owner that property is being stored and may be reclaimed. Removed personal property shall be stored for sixty days following notice to the owner. (Ord. 1977-0921 § 1, 2021)