May 30, 2024
Property

Public property camping ordinance passes in Altamonte Springs


Public property camping ordinance passes in Altamonte Springs

Altamonte Springs now has a new tool in its legal kit to deal with people who camp out on public property and refuse to move. City leaders unanimously passed an ordinance that allows police for the first time to fine or arrest the person. Officials say the problem came up this summer when a man set up a camp at the intersection of State Road 436 and State Road 434 on a public sidewalk.He tied a train of wagons together — complete with animals, a punching bag and a grill and would not budge.”We spend a lot of time and sometimes a lot of money trying to find people shelter when they need it,” Altamonte Springs City Manager Frank Martz said. “What we learned is when we had someone who said ‘I absolutely will not do it’ and brought in a grill and exercise equipment, he knew and we discovered we had no ordinance that would allow us to say, ‘Listen, you have to move and here are the ramifications if you don’t.'”The ordinance spells out the ramifications, including a fine of up to $500 and a stint in jail of up to 60 days or both. The ordinance also applies to anyone who parks cars, trucks and RVs in public right-of-way areas that create a hazard.Top headlines: Family says human remains found in pond near Disney World are those of Orlando woman missing 12 years Ocala Police to host ‘community support meeting’ following deadly mall shooting Flagler Beach police ask people to stay away from sand dunes after damage

Altamonte Springs now has a new tool in its legal kit to deal with people who camp out on public property and refuse to move. City leaders unanimously passed an ordinance that allows police for the first time to fine or arrest the person.

Officials say the problem came up this summer when a man set up a camp at the intersection of State Road 436 and State Road 434 on a public sidewalk.

He tied a train of wagons together — complete with animals, a punching bag and a grill and would not budge.

“We spend a lot of time and sometimes a lot of money trying to find people shelter when they need it,” Altamonte Springs City Manager Frank Martz said. “What we learned is when we had someone who said ‘I absolutely will not do it’ and brought in a grill and exercise equipment, he knew and we discovered we had no ordinance that would allow us to say, ‘Listen, you have to move and here are the ramifications if you don’t.'”

The ordinance spells out the ramifications, including a fine of up to $500 and a stint in jail of up to 60 days or both.

The ordinance also applies to anyone who parks cars, trucks and RVs in public right-of-way areas that create a hazard.

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