Ordinances aimed at Berkeley homeless tabled at City Council meeting
But much of the passion expressed before and during the meeting revolved around four ordinances that some say unfairly target the homeless.
"These ordinances that they're planning to vote on would essentially criminalize the very presence of people who are homeless on the streets of Berkeley," said Attorney Osha Numann with the East Bay Community Law Center.
Council Member Linda Maio, who authored the ordinances, says the status quo is not acceptable.
"We have a growing encampment particularly on Shattuck and Telegraph Avenues," said Maio.
The ordinances would prohibit panhandling from people using parking meters, sleeping in city-owned planter beds, and strengthening regulations around public urination and dedication.
The fourth and most controversial regulation would limit the property someone could place next to them on the sidewalk to a space no bigger than two square feet and that property must be able to be moved in an hour.
"They will not be able to be on the sidewalk under this ordinance given the restrictions on the kind of possessions they're allowed to have and the amount of time they're allowed to be there," said Numann.
Numann says the city makes no provision for where the homeless should store their property. The ordinances, if passed, would not take effect for six months and thereafter violations would result in a citation.
The city council was expected to vote during its Tuesday night meeting, but shortly after 10:15 p.m. tabled the ordinances addressing homeless issues until a later date.