Sacramento to consider ordinance banning camping along levees

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- For the past 10 years, Carlos has lived along the banks of Sacramento River off Garden Highway. For him and many others, it is premium property for someone who is homeless.

“Right now, I have peace in my head, man. It’s the only time I have ever been anywhere that I felt comfortable,” he told FOX40.

But soon, he may be forced to live somewhere else.

“When you have 200 camps in a row on the levee top or on the levee slope you don’t know what’s under those,” said Sacramento Vice Mayor Jeff Harris.

Next week, the city of Sacramento will consider an ordinance that would ban camping within 25 feet of levees.

The current law says governments cannot cite or tell people not to sleep in public if they cannot provide everyone beds unless the camping disrupts public health or safety.

“This is not about punishing campers or trying to make it impossible for homeless people to live,” Harris said.

The vice mayor said between transients digging into the levees, potentially compromising the structures' integrity, and the numerous fires set along the rivers during the warmer months, the ordinance just makes sense.

“There are activities that campers engage in that can put the general population at risk and that’s the heart of what we’re trying to solve here,” he told FOX40.

While he said he will stay in the area until he’s told to leave, Carlos also said he understands why it might happen.

“You can’t even say that they are wrong about doing it because they have tons and tons of evidence that proves that homelessness is going to cause this kind of problem,” Carlos said.

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