Did The City Of Bozeman Drop The Ball On The Urban Camping Issue?
Let the debate begin!
The Bozeman City Commission recently approved the Urban Camping Ordinance, but before they did so, made a few changes and those changes aren't very popular with some Bozemanites.
The original ordinance called for the "urban campers" to move every 5 days and if they failed to do so, would be fined 100 dollars. However, a couple of amendments were made and according to many, won't help the problem at all.
The truth is no matter what the Bozeman City Commission decided, a group of folks were going to walk away unsatisfied. That's part of the problem with this whole issue, there doesn't seem to be a "right" answer. On one side you have those who think the individuals living in their vehicles and RVs need to be removed from city streets. While the other side believes that they're not hurting anything, and have a little more empathy for the situation.
Much like life, in this instance, there seems to be a little less black and white and a whole lot more gray. So what amendments did the Bozeman City Commission make to the ordinance?
Well for starters, instead of 5 days, the campers will now have 30 days before they have to move. The Commission also decided to change the fine from 100 dollars to 25 and that fine would go into effect after 3 violations. So does that mean that if a vehicle hasn't moved in 3 months, they would be faced with a 25-dollar fine?
Is it a move in the right direction? As we talked about above, it seems that completely depends on who you ask.
There are still several questions that people have. Will the areas be kept clean? Will dumpsters be provided and will they be emptied on a regular basis? Will there be porta potties so that those camping in the areas can use proper facilities? Who will be responsible for making sure that the folks have these things?
It seems that the more we learn, the less we know.