Lawrence could repeal illegal camping law

Reduction in city's homeless shelter forces officials to reconsider ordinances that make it illegal to camp or sleep on public land, city parks or downtown Lawrence.

By

State News

February 13, 2020 - 10:04 AM

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lawrence officials are looking into changing or possibly repealing ordinances that make it illegal to camp or sleep on public land, in city parks and in downtown Lawrence.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that city commissioners discussed the issue Tuesday amid an increased focus on the homeless population after the city’s shelter sharply reduced its capacity last year. Officials have said that the city has been more permissive of illegal camping this winter as a result. 

During the meeting, commissioners asked city staff to research the effects of repealing the ordinances, as well as the effects of changing the ordinances to make them unenforceable if local homeless shelters are at capacity. But the the commission also agreed that more needed to be down to comprehensively address homelessness.

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