June 23, 2021

LOS ANGELES – Today Los Angeles City Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and John Lee took action to force a vote by the full City Council on a draft anti-camping law that has been stalled in committee since November 2020.

The rarely-used procedure under Council Rule 54 will require the Council at the next regular meeting to vote on pulling the draft law from committee for immediate consideration by the full City Council.

“With over half of all fires related to homelessness, completely blocked sidewalks, and a sharp increase in crime associated with street encampments, it is unconscionable for this City Council to adjourn for a month-long recess without considering this important ordinance that will restore rules and order to our shared public spaces,” said Councilmember Buscaino. “Public Safety is the core responsibility of local government, and we are failing to protect both the unhoused and the housed. Allowing unmitigated encampments on our streets and sidewalks is not compassionate, it’s reckless.”

The draft ordinance, which was referred to the Homelessness & Poverty Committee on November 30, 2020, would restrict sitting, lying, sleeping, and the placement of tents or personal property on streets and sidewalks:

  • Where it reduces the path of travel required by the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • Within 10 feet of an operational or utilizable entrance, exit, driveway, or loading dock;
  • Within 500 feet of a facility providing housing, shelter, supportive services, safe parking, or storage to homeless persons (after the adoption of a location-specific Council Resolution and posting of signage);
  • Within 500 feet of a designated freeway overpass, underpass, ramp, tunnel, or pedestrian subway (after the adoption of a location-specific Council Resolution and posting of signage); and
  • At all times and all locations, if a person has been offered shelter.

If adopted, the draft law would then go to Mayor Garcetti, who has 10 days to either approve or veto the measure and would align Los Angeles law with that of other California cities like San Francisco, Berkeley, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica.