Topeka City Council discusses camping ordinance ahead of enforcement date
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Days ahead of the City’s amended camping ordinance enforcement date, Topeka’s governing body is still determining how to deal with the homeless encampments across Topeka.
The biggest issue is where to direct violators.
“The way it got left was that the ordinance would be in effect, but they are expecting to. We weren’t able to find any property that the city owns anyway, staff did a really diligent job of trying to figure out if there was someplace we could declare that we own, that was a good place to go, and we couldn’t come up with it,” Hiller said.
Karen Hiller said when the ordinance takes effect on November 17th, enforcement will likely be handled on a case-by-case basis.
“The enforcement of that... of the extra pieces that were added is going to be discretionary on the part of the city, at least up until the end of January, when we set a date to review it again,” said Hiller.
Hiller remains confident in the City’s long-term efforts in finding a solution to the continuous issue.
“There were assurances and re-assurances that the City would continue to vigorously enforce those sections of the City, like the 2 downtowns, and under bridges and things like that, that have been protected before, and that further... we’ve been progressively getting with code compliance and with the police.”
The council also delayed action on a potential alcohol and drug grant program, and discussed long-term plans for City parking.
The Hotel Topeka ownership group, which includes multiple members on the council, received their first update before tonight’s meeting.
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