On May 24, 2023, Albany City Council adopted new rules into the Albany Municipal Code (AMC) about camping on property within the city limits including public parks, streets, and sidewalks. These new regulations bring Albany in compliance with Oregon House Bill 3115, which is set to take effect July 1, 2023. This law is the latest in several Federal court decisions and State laws regulating how cities and counties can enforce camping ordinances.
City-owned property at the intersection of 9th Avenue SE and Jackson Street SE was identified that best meets the requirements of HB 3115 and the new municipal code. The City will begin site preparation, develop a plan for ongoing cleanup and maintenance needs, and begin outreach soon to those affected by these changes.
Under AMC 7.20, the City Manager shall designate public space within the city where camping is allowed. The code also allows churches and transitional shelter groups to host up to four camping facilities for up to 120 consecutive days in a 365-day period. Camping anywhere on public or private property outside the designated sites will remain illegal. Designated camping areas must be available to anyone who wants to be there regardless of drug or alcohol use and meet other requirements such as the availability of sanitary facilities.
Staff from the community development, fire, police, parks and recreation, and public works departments evaluated City-owned properties that met the criteria of HB 3115 and were located near existing services like those offered by City partners such as C.H.A.N.C.E. and Helping Hands.