SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento County supervisors are considering a new “no camping” ordinance aimed at moving homeless camps ahead of extreme weather events.

This would prompt law enforcement to legally move homeless people from fire and flood risk areas during extreme weather alerts issued by the county’s Office of Emergency Services or the National Weather Service.

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The proposal follows years of concerns over grass fires set along the American River Parkway and after holes were discovered in Sacramento-area levees dug by homeless people.

Randy Smith is a cleanup volunteer who took many ugly snapshots of the Sacramneto Waterway, including photos of needles he found following storm surges stuck above creek level.

“And they settle in tree branches, and on our heads and stuff,” Smith said.

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In addition to extreme weather events, Sacramento County’s proposal calls for a ban on camping within 1,000 feet of overnight shelters.

Attorney Mark Merin is a homeless advocate who has filed claims against the City of Sacramento’s homeless law enforcement policies and received settlements. He said the county should focus on adding affordable housing, not enforcement.

“Well, the shelters are full immediately,” Merin said. “You erect a shelter, it’s full, and the people who are drawn there are hoping to get in. Now you penalize them for trying to get into the shelter, saying, ‘Oh no, you can’t be that close. “. and so it doesn’t make any sense.

“The county was sitting back and wasn’t a major issue, but now it looks like the county is saying, ‘Come sue us’ and guess what, we’ll do it.”

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The proposal was presented on Tuesday. County supervisors have asked staff to return later this summer with more details.