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Aurora committee votes down citywide camping ban

Mayor Mike Coffman says the ordinance will go to Public Safety Committee
homeless aurora.jpg
Posted at 10:25 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 00:27:45-04

AURORA, Colo. — An Aurora committee voted down an ordinance for a citywide camping ban proposed by Mayor Mike Coffman.

In the Housing, Neighborhood Services and Redevelopment Policy Committee's Thursday morning meeting, the committee voted down the proposal to ban unauthorized camping on public or private property 2-1, according to city officials.

Though it was voted down, under city rules any councilmember or the mayor can bring an ordinance up for study session or to the full council. Coffman on Twitter said he plans to do so, saying the proposal will proceed to the Public Safety Committee.

"My proposal is fair to our residents and compassionate to the homeless because it requires the city to take them to a designated area where they can stay and will have access to much needed services," Coffman's statement read.

An attached memo to the committee says more than 900 complaints have been received related to encampments. The memo also says the city "needs a permanent solution to authorize the abatement of unauthorized camp sites on public property."

However, Coffman has received backlash for his proposal, with councilmember Alison Coombs previously saying she opposed the ordinance and some community members responding to his initial announcement calling the idea "cruel and sick" and "heartless and nonsensical."

"I think that it's very clear that it's a policy failure from Denver," Coombs said. "Even our residents recognize that when we just move people along from one place, they just go to another place."