Medford city council give initial approval to overnight camping ordinance

MEDFORD, Ore. — Medford city council gave initial approval on Thursday to an ordinance giving religious institutions the option to let people legally sleep overnight in the parking lot.

The ordinance, No. 3171, would add a new chapter to the Ashland Municipal Code.   It allows places of worship to offer up to three parking spaces to people who are living out of their cars.

Pastor Murray Richmond of First Presbyterian Church in Medford, said homelessness is a citywide problem and the ordinance is a step in the right direction.

“I hope other churches step up and become a part of this and open their lots up,” said Pastor Richmond.  “A lot of people sleeping in their cars are just trying to make do. I think this is a great opportunity for our community and it’ll take churches all over the city to make this work,” he said.

The ordinance still needs to be approved a second time before it’s official.   There are several stipulations including a maximum of three parking spaces and the need for a restroom and trash bin.


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