FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Rising homelessness is causing safety concerns in Fayetteville.
The city council will consider an ordinance banning homeless people from camping on city-owned property.
“Those areas are within close proximity of vehicle travel at high rates of speed and it’s just dangerous,” Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin said.
The Fayetteville Homeless Encampment Task Force is proposing a law to force people to move.
“I think the issue at hand is making sure people are not spending the night in a dangerous situation in a dangerous place,” Colvin said.
The ordinance would ban homeless people from camping on all city-owned property — including city-owned right of ways.
It would also limit the number of consecutive days they’re allowed on private property with an owner’s written consent.
Additionally, the law would prohibit sleeping in vehicles on private property without an owner’s written consent.
“It is an eyesore you certainly don’t want to see people have to live in that condition and we have invested a lot in having a downtown that’s very vibrant,” Colvin said.
He said there is a growing number of homeless people moving to Fayetteville for services.
In Cumberland County, shelters are nearly full and city leaders are puzzled about where to move the encampments.
“Tonight, the council will not make any actions that will take place immediately. We will have to answer those tough questions to find out where it is we can relocate you in a safe way. Compassion leads the way in this discussion,” Colvin said.
Raleigh, Charlotte, and Asheville all have laws prohibiting camping and sleeping on streets, right of ways, and sidewalks.
Fayetteville City Council will take up the issue on Monday during a work session. Currently, Fayetteville has an ordinance banning homeless people in parks and cemeteries.
Officials said in a work session, City Council can give consensus for an item to later come before Council for official action at a regular meeting. This means it’s not a typical ‘pass’ or ’fail’ vote. A spokesperson told CBS 17 on Monday night that a work session video should be available Tuesday morning on the City’s YouTube page.