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City of Bozeman proposes new ordinance to restrict urban camping

Bozeman City hall.jpg
Posted at 6:02 PM, Aug 04, 2023

BOZEMAN — The City of Bozeman is proposing a new ordinance to establish restrictions to urban camping.

On Tuesday, Aug. 8, the Bozeman City Commission will consider adopting an ordinance that will add restrictions to the time, place, and manner in which people can shelter and camp on city roads.

The proposed ordinance allows people to stay in a vehicle or tent for up to five days if they have no other form of shelter available to them.

Additionally, people would not be allowed to camp adjacent to or across from a residence, park, school, daycare, on a bike lane or sidewalk, and within 100 feet of a business entrance.

Assistant City Manager Kira Peters says this ordinance is being discussed due to the increase in urban camping around Bozeman.

“We really want to make sure that we are paying attention to being able to have people be in compliance, especially in terms of, you know, really blocking, say, for example, a bike lane or really parking someplace that isn't permitted for various reasons," says Peters. "We have seen a lack of compliance with keeping areas tidy. You know, we did a recent street cleanup earlier this summer at the end of May, beginning of June. I know that we did the same thing, but there are some areas that are not keeping up with keeping clean and tidy. So that's another reason that we hope this ordinance will give, you know, some tools to city staff to help enforce and have people comply with those rules.”

The Bozeman City Commission meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.