ALERT: Albany, CA Homeless Camp faces EVICTION June 15 FWD

Tom Boland (
Wed, 14 Apr 1999 05:06:32 -0700 (PDT)

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FWD  [California, USA]  West Contra Costa News - April 8, 1999


     Albany wants time to relocate people using an old landfill
     that will become part of Eastshore State Park

     By Kate Darby Rauch

ALBANY -- After years of discussion and debate, the city has finalized a
ban on camping in city open space, a move largely intended to shut down a
homeless encampment on an old landfill.

The City Council unanimously adopted the no camping ordinance Monday. It
will not take effect until June 15, so people living at the landfill have
time to move on before they could be forced out.

"This is giving all of us a few months to do whatever we can to help the
individuals at the landfill find housing and employment assistance," said
Daren Fields, city administrator.

The city figures at least 75 people live on the old landfill, a peninsula
jutting into the San Francisco Bay near Golden Gate Fields Racetrack.
Concerns about safety and sanitation in the area have increased in recent
months as the number of homeless has grown.

The area is set to become part of the planned Eastshore State Park, a strip
of shoreline stretching from Oakland to Richmond. The city's ordinance
matches the policies of the East Bay Regional Park District, which will
oversee the shoreline park.

The new law closes city open space and recreation areas from 10 p.m. to
5:30 a.m. It prohibits camping, fires and alcohol in those areas, while
outlawing littering, cutting down trees and building any structures.

The city is working closely with social service agencies to help the
landfill's homeless. City officials hope to avoid police enforcement.

"I think it's going to be difficult to enforce," said Councilman Allan
Maris. "But I think we needed to do it. I would like to see us continue
with our efforts to do something for the homeless. They really need a lot
of help."


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