The Grover Beach Camping Ordinance, recently passed by the Grover Beach City Council, will go into effect on Monday, May 1.
“So the City of Grover Beach has passed a camping ordinance and what it does is it limits the time, place, and manner that those that are unhoused or are camping within the city can camp,” said Commander Jim Munro, Grover Beach Police Department.
The ordinance includes new rules such as no camping within 200 feet of a residential property line, transportation hub, or school. Campsites are limited to 24 hours, then they must move at least 600 feet. Campsites also need to be separated by 150 feet or more.
“So we are making contact with our unhoused population. It is an educational effort. We are providing them paperwork along with a list of resources that can provide them help. There is help out there for them,” Commander Munro said.
However, he says not everyone wants help.
“Unfortunately, what we’re experiencing is, those that are still camping don’t want the help or are refusing help at this time," Munro said.
The police department is encouraging the homeless community to take advantage of available resources, such as through CAPSLO, the 5Cities Homeless Coalition, or the San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services.
"We’re trying to educate them on the new camping ordinance so they are aware of what’s coming Monday, the new rules and of course where they can and cannot camp,” Munro said.
Residents are cautiously optimistic.
“I am going to wait and see. It seems like they’re trying to make progress in dealing with the population that’s unhoused in our area so all we can do is see what happens when it finally has its outcome,” said Grover Beach resident Kimberly Kidd.
The Grover Beach Police Department is in charge of enforcing this ordinance and will continue its educational efforts as well as conducting daily walk-throughs. Munro tells us they are hoping for voluntary compliance.
The Grover Beach Police Department is working closely with the 5Cities Homeless Coalition during the outreach process.