Nov 17, 2016 12:02 PM

Lebanon City Council will hold another public hearing for proposed homelessness ordinance

LEBANON — A proposal that has been circulating around City Council that would ban unauthorized camping on city-owned property will be heard before a public hearing once again.

After months of discussion about the proposed law’s wording and penalties, council members on Wednesday agreed to a final draft, one they believe is both enforceable and affords the police leeway, according to The Valley News.

Under the proposal, camping overnight on city property without permission would be illegal and punishable by a fine up to $100.

Opponents argued the plan criminalized homelessness.

“This is a serious social problem that’s best addressed by compassionate social workers and social welfare agencies, and not the police and the courts,” said Shawn Donovan. He asked that the city provide water, toilets and a dumpster for people to use, rather than evict anyone.

Councilors voted 7-1 to hold a public hearing. A hearing will likely be held at the council’s Dec. 7 meeting in City Hall.

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