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Aurora City Council votes to approve urban camping ban

Mayor Mike Coffman cast the tie-breaking vote
aurora homeless camp.jpeg
Posted at 10:02 AM, Mar 29, 2022

AURORA, Colo. — Aurora City Council voted Monday night to pass the urban camping ban ordinance, with Mayor Mike Coffman casting the tie-breaking vote.

The ordinance passed on a 6-5 vote. Councilmembers Danielle Jurinsky, Dustin Zvonek, Steve Sundberg, Françoise Bergan and Curtis Gardner voted in favor of the ordinance, as well as Coffman. Councilmembers Crystal Murillo, Ruben Medina, Juan Marcano, Alison Coombs and Angela Lawson voted against the ordinance.

According to Coffman, the ordinance will put in place the following:

  • A 72-hour notice is required before a homeless camp is abated.
  • A seven-day notice is required before a homeless camp is abated on land owned by the Colorado Department of Transportation.
  • The City of Aurora must offer people living in a homeless encampment an alternative shelter option before abatement occurs. This means there has to be sufficient shelter space available for the encampments being abated on any given day, not that there’s enough space for everyone staying in an encampment.
  • There will be no fines or penalties for people staying in an encampment. Someone experiencing homelessness can only be arrested if he or she is refusing to move after the notice provision and the shelter option requirement are met and the abatement is occurring.

Coffman has been working to get a homeless camping ban in place since last year, previously saying it would address complaints about trash and that it was something a majority of people in the city want.

Coombs previously said the policy wouldn't solve the city's homelessness problem and called the idea expensive and traumatizing to the people who get moved around.

Under the previous city council, the ban ultimately failed in August 2021.

When a new, conservative-leaning majority was voted into council in November 2021, they vowed to address issues surrounding homelessness.