AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Mayor Mike Coffman is, again, proposing a camping ban. Coffman’s previous proposal failed on a tie vote in August. The mayor said his new proposal is different because it takes away initial penalizations that critics argued criminalize homelessness.
“With a 72-hour notice, someone who is illegally camping will not be fined– will not be penalized– but will be required to move,” Coffman told FOX31.
There’s a new political landscape in the Aurora city government, but it’s still unclear if the mayor will have enough support to turn his proposal into a reality. The mayor said his plan is a humane way to get those suffering homelessness the help they need while preventing Aurora from seeing more tent cities. He said those impacted will be offered locations where they can receive food, water and various resources.
“We want to help those who want help,” he said.
The proposal will go before the city council during a study session this week. It may be formally considered by the council on Feb. 14.
Police Chief Vanessa Wilson was critical of the mayor’s first attempt. She expressed concern over having her officers tied up in campsite removals. The mayor, though, said officers have already been doing similar work under certain situations.
“We want to get serious about this issue,” Coffman said. “This is the way to do it.”
Aurora follows in the footsteps of Denver’s camping ban efforts that have been tied up in court– resulting in a complicated web of regulation.