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Emotions are strong at hearing over homeless belongings

Storing personal items in public places will likely be more difficult in Santa Barbara soon.

” The public right of way is not a storage space, ” said Council member Randy Rowse .

Sitting as the Ordinance Committee, three members of the council heard comments about the new ordinance calling for a four hour time limit on belongings that are frequently stacked on sidewalks or in public landscaping.

” They have made no attempt to give them anywhere to store their stuff. They have no alternative except to store it on the street. You know that and I know that and they know that, ” said Peter Marin a longtime city homeless advocate.

He cited a case in Fresno where items belonging to the homeless were taken and discarded and the city lost a legal challenge.

Rowse pushed back saying the city is doing a tremendous amount to help those in need. ” This is a compassionate city. We have nothing to be ashamed of ever. I think we are doing the greater public good by removing things that may in fact have biohazards may in fact attract rodent activity may do things none of us on any level or socioeconomic strata want. ”

Items taken by the city will be stored in the Public Works yard for up to 90 days before they are thrown out.

” There is no way you can enforce this ordinance without making hundreds of people suffer, ” said Marin. ” They have to find a place where they won’t be disturbing anybody. They have to find a place where they will be out of sight. 4 hours will certainly not enough time for that. ”

KEYT 2019

Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts

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