Umatilla bans living in tents, targeting homeless camps

Umatilla will now ban people from living in tents through an ordinance meant to target the homeless community.

The city council passed the ban unanimously this week, the East Oregonian reported.

City Manager Bob Ward told council members there are “all sorts of reasons” why someone should not live in a tent.

Ward said volunteers cleaned out a homeless camp in April, but camps have been popping up in other places ever since. He said volunteers found evidence of illegal activity during the cleanup.

The rule bans camping on public property aside from campgrounds or pre-approved youth group activities. It also outlaws camping on private property without the permission of the owner. Even with permission, the person can’t pitch a tent with the intent of establishing living quarters.