Austin Could be seeing its newest homeless camping ordinances soon. Councilmembers Ann Kitchen and Kathie Tovo have drafted an ordinance and put it up on the Council message board. They write the ordinance draft came about after working with mayor Steve Adler, Councilmember Greg Casar, and other community members.
In it they propose banning camping in places that have high foot and vehicle traffic and include:
West Campus between between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 29th Street and along, Guadalupe Street, Rio Grande Avenue, San Antonio Avenue, San Gabriel Street, Nueces Street, West 24th Street.
As well as Downtown along 2nd Street, 5th Street west of Guadalupe Street, 6th Street, Congress Avenue, and Red River Street.
And in Central East Austin, specifically along: East 11th Street, East 12th Street, and Manor Road.
The two councilmembers admit there is not a complete consensus on the proposal so they look forward to further conversation in session.
From the Mayor:
Council Member Casar and I want to thank our colleagues, Council Members Tovo and Kitchen, for working together with us as a sub-quorum on the issue of homelessness. We have considerably narrowed issues and generally agreed on direction. Thanks also for the help and suggestions from so many in the community.
We’re anxious for the full dais to actively engage in this work on an ordinance and resolution for council to consider on a specially called meeting on September 18 and possibly September 20th.
Here you can see CM Casar and my preferred ordinance, which diverges in some places from what was posted by CM Kitchen and CM Tovo. We believe our ordinance better strikes a balance of protecting public health and safety, protecting public spaces, and not infringing on the civil rights of individuals in our city. You will see some sections of the ordinance marked with our names where CM Casar and I offer alternative options for language in order to allow for a community discussion on a range of options.