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Grover Beach adopts new homeless camping ordinance

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Posted at 7:07 PM, Apr 05, 2023

The City of Grover Beach adopted a new ordinance plan to help regulate camping and vehicle habitation beginning April 27th.

The ordinance both addresses the concerns of residents in nearby neighborhoods while addressing the rise in homelessness in Grover Beach.

The previous city ordinance was not enforceable and outdated due to the 2018 Martin v. City of Boise ruling. The ruling prevents cities from enforcing encampment policies if there are not enough shelter options available.

“If a community does not have nearby unit shelters available then they can’t enforce camping prohibitions on public property,” City Manager Matthew Bronson said. “Hence why this ordinance is so important. Previously, the city's camping ordinance, established many years ago, was not enforceable because it didn't respond to the Martin vs Boise case law.”

The Grover Beach Police Department plans on conducting a targeted outreach while posting signs visible to the encampment areas in hopes of preventing further vehicle habitation violations.

“We have to come together as a community and figure out how to make it pencil out in such a way that we have the housing that we need,” Five Cities Homeless Coalition Executive Director Janna Nichols said. “What’s housed for those who have been experiencing homelessness for some time need supportive services. They’ve been out there for a while.”

There are currently ongoing developments in the works, such as the completion of the 20 Cabin Temporary Housing Facility at 16th St. and long Branche Ave. as well as the Barca Street housing facility, a vacant land spot sitting at 955 South 4th St. for the building of future homeless housing facilities.

For more information on the impact of 5Cities Homeless Coalition you can visit https://5chc.org/programs/temporary-emergency-housing-in-grover-beach .