Fayetteville may ban homeless tenting on metropolis property


FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WNCN) – Rising homelessness is raising safety concerns in Fayetteville.

The city council will consider an ordinance banning homeless people from camping on city property.

“These areas are in close proximity to vehicles traveling at high speeds and it’s just plain dangerous,” Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin said.

The Fayetteville Homeless Encampment Task Force proposes legislation to force people to move.

“I think the problem is making sure people aren’t spending the night in a dangerous situation in a dangerous place,” Colvin said.

The ordinance would ban homeless people from camping on all city properties — including city rights-of-way.

It would also limit the number of consecutive days they are allowed on private property with an owner’s written consent.

Also, the law would prohibit sleeping in vehicles on private property without the written consent of the owner.

“It’s an eyesore that you certainly wouldn’t want to see that people have to live in such conditions, and we’ve invested a lot to have a very vibrant downtown,” Colvin said.

He said there is an increasing number of homeless people moving to Fayetteville for services.

In Cumberland County, emergency shelters are nearly full and city leaders are at a loss as to where to move camps.

“Tonight the Council will not take any action, which will take place immediately. We need to answer these tough questions to figure out where to safely relocate you. Compassion is at the forefront of this discussion,” said Colvin.

Raleigh, Charlotte and Asheville all have laws prohibiting camping and sleeping on streets, driveways and sidewalks.

The Fayetteville City Council will take up the issue during a working session Monday. Fayetteville currently has an ordinance banning homeless people from parks and cemeteries.