City of San Diego leaders say camping ban is ‘extremely successful' just several months in

Many San Diegans are noticing the impact of the ordinance already

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The City of San Diego’s Unsafe Camping Ordinance established new regulations banning encampments on public property.

“The Unsafe Camping Ordinance has already proven to be extremely successful in Downtown and Balboa Park, and we're expanding that to other parts of our city,” City of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said.

The ordinance was passed June 2023 and officially went into effect July 31, 2023.

“I’ve definitely noticed the cleaning up of the encampments, so I’ve seen the park cleaner and less folks,” Jennifer Vasquez said.

Many San Diegans are noticing the impact of the ordinance.

“I have seen improvements across at least this part of Balboa Park. I live close to Golden Hill Park, and I walk my dog regularly and I have definitely seen improvements in the parks,” resident Kaye London said.

Currently the enforcement of the camping ordinance is only taking place near parks and schools.

“SDPD has made 135 contacts and educational warnings of the Unsafe Camping Ordinance since July 31. There has only been one arrest for violation of the Ordinance near the Linda Vista Recreation Center,” San Diego Police Department Spokesperson Ashley Bailey said.

The ban is a part of a multi-pronged effort.

“Look at our comprehensive shelter strategy where we're not only providing for more congregate and non-congregate options, but some more less traditional options like safe parking lots, safe sleeping sites, etcetera,” Mayor Gloria said.

But some people that are being impacted by the ban say it is uprooting their lives.

“I’ve stayed in Balboa Park, I’ve stayed in this part of the park. It’s safe, it’s quiet and that’s part of the reason why I came here,” Fernando Gamez said.

Along with the one arrest, seven citations have been written for the Unsafe Camping Ordinance.

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