Dec 6, 2009 7:41 AM by John Romero

Proposed ordinance could ban homeless camping


Most of us have seen the tents lining Fountain and Monument Creeks. Hundreds of homeless have set up makeshift towns along the banks. On Monday a police written ordinance effectively banning the campsites will be taken to city council. "I really think this is just part of a bigger problem." says Colorado Springs City Councilman Bernie Herpin, "We have no restrictions on other public property like what is along Fountain and Monuments Creeks. And that's why we're seeing a lot of homeless folks camping out there because it's permitted basically."

In the proposal submitted by CSPD Chief Richard Myers, he states "These ordinances have been crafted as a result of ongoing problems associated with sanitation, open fires and criminal activity involving makeshift campsites on public property." News First 5 did contact CSPD for comment. They are withholding comment until the proposal is heard on Monday.

It's not an easy situation for council members like Herpin. While he agrees the tents are unsightly for our city, he says simply kicking them out isn't an option. "We just can't go out there I don't think and close down all the tents and tell them they gotta get out of town. Where are they going to go?" he says. Herpin says something must be done. But council has to walk a fine line. "We want to make sure that we're respecting the rights of all of our citizens. Those folks, like it or not camping along our creeks are citizens of Colorado Springs." he explains.

You can read a copy of the proposal here...



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