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Board of Supervisors approves urgency ordinance addressing camping and personal property

Board approves urgency ordinance addressing camping and storage of personal property

     In an effort to address serious public health and safety concerns along County rivers, parks, and other public and private properties, the Yuba County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an urgency ordinance concerning camping and storage of personal property Nov. 12.      The ordinance affects all residents—whether a camper is passing through or walking across the U.S. It is expected to have its most profound impact on the river bottoms and the levee system, where encampments and piles of personal property have affected the health of area rivers, riparian habitat and its visitors.
     The ordinance allows for due process prior to removing personal property. Residents will be given 48-hour notice and an informal hearing before the removal of personal property. After items are removed, those same residents are given a chance to reclaim the property within 90 days of its removal and storage. While there are some fees associated with moving and storage, the owner of the removed personal property can apply for a fee waiver.
     “This Ordinance puts in place reasonable regulations for dispersed camping and personal property storage, and provides Code Enforcement -- as well as the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office -- a much-needed enforcement tool to reduce activities that pollute waterways, that create a hazard in public places, or that damage the levee system which provides flood protection to the community,” Building Department and Code Enforcement Manager Jeremy Strang said. “Because regional reservoirs can cause sudden and quick-moving changes in water elevation, proactive enforcement of this Ordinance will facilitate the relocation of individuals that have established camps within our waterways. This type of proactive enforcement will also provide an additional layer of safety for our first responders— who put their lives in harm’s way to evacuate from or perform rescues in encampments dangerously situated within our waterways.”
The urgency ordinance, which took effect immediately upon approval, prohibits camping:
  • on private property without the owner’s permission
  • on any park grounds or trail facility
  • on the County airport
  • on any County cemetery
  • on any property within or below 200 feet of the high water mark
  • on any levee or within 50 feet of landside toe of the levee
  • on any County right of way
  • on any other County property from 30 minutes after sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset (with exceptions during cold or wet weather conditions).
The ordinance also prohibits the storage of personal property:
  • on any private property without the owner’s permission
  • on any County park or trail facility
  • at any County airport
  • on an public property if it obstructs the use of the property
  • on any public property that has a posted closure time
  • on any property that is within or below 200 feet above the ordinary high water mark.