Edmonds bans camping on public property; violators face up to $1,000 fine or jail time

Camping on public property is now illegal in Edmonds after the city council voted 5-2 earlier this month to ban unhoused people from camping in public areas.

Under the new ordinance, it is illegal to camp on public property or use public space for shelter if a person has refused overnight shelter in the city.

Violators face a fine of up to $1,000 or 90 days in jail.

This comes at a time when the city recently received an independent report that indicated fewer people are homeless in the city of Edmonds.

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The National Homelessness Law Center had sent a letter to the Edmonds City Council prior to the vote voicing concern about the proposal. 

"Both public policy and constitutional precedent advise against policies that punish people for being unsheltered and that prevent them from life-sustaining activities such as sleeping. We are eager to work with the mayor's office and city council on replacing this proposal with policies and practices that effectively and humanely address homelessness in your community."