Overnight camping ban going into effect in Burien

Nov 1, 2023, 7:35 AM | Updated: 8:35 am

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

(Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

The Burien camping ban passed at the end of September has gone into effect, and anyone sleeping or residing on public property could be charged with a misdemeanor.

Ordinance 818 prevents people from sleeping in public places from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night unless local shelters are full. Also, tents can only be set up at night.

Read more here: Burien City Council votes to ban camping by thin 4-3 margin

The ban came after months of debate and escalating tensions in the community, one homeless man noted to KIRO Newsradio.

“‘Go home!’ They’re driving by (saying ‘Go home!’) Go home? What do you mean ‘Go home’? We’re out here because we’ve got no home.”

For a while, at the beginning of the year, there were people camped outside city hall before being forced to move down the street.

The law does have a big limitation though,  specifically the qualification that the area needs to have open shelter space in order to charge someone for camping. And the city doesn’t have enough shelter space.

“The need far exceeds the available resources,” the city said in an online statement to KIRO 7.

City council members like Cydney Moore pushed against this ban for months, saying the shelters just don’t have the space.

Moore is now acting in a personal capacity as the president of a nonprofit that is looking to find housing solutions for those who are unhoused in Burien.

They’re setting up a temporary solution for unhoused people called Sunnydale Village on the nearby church Oasis Home’s property with space for 30 tents.

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