Charlotte Metropolis Council set to debate felony enforcement for tenting on metropolis property – WSOC TV

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CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte City Council is expected to speak about restoring rules banning camping on city lots during Monday night’s strategy meeting.

The Camping Ordinance is one of many laws that were decriminalized in December as part of a criminal justice reform.

The city can now restore law enforcement to campgrounds where many homeless people take shelter.

Enforcement would break the law by prohibiting camping on city public property. Violation would result in a Class 3 misdemeanor and a $500 fine.

In 2020, a large camp where homeless people congregated outside of downtown became a health hazard. Mecklenburg County worked with non-profit organizations in the area to relocate people, some to hotels, without breaking the rules or making arrests.

A line on Monday night’s agenda clarifies that the amendment is not intended to criminalize the homeless but would be used in large-scale situations such as those seen during the pandemic.

The agenda says police will first offer resources, drive to emergency shelters or call mobile crisis units before seeking prosecution.

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