City Council passes ordinance to ban creekside camping in Colorado Springs

Posted at 3:27 PM, Jul 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-10 17:27:09-04

Colorado Springs City Council voted to pass an ordinance that bans camping within 100 feet of a creek bank. 

City Council members voted 6-2 in a final vote Tuesday afternoon.

After much debate, the proposed ordinance came in early May, following discussions of health and safety. Homeless camping was among the issues brought up, as concerns surfaced of homeless having limited places to go. 

The city’s water resource engineering division is involved in the proposed ordinance, as flash-flooding can be a safety issue in the area. The division said any type of camping in or along water ways is a safety concern during flash-flooding.

Another major issue for them is water quality. There is a pending evaluation that needs to meet federal state water quality standards. 

Water testing has revealed unacceptable levels of e-coli in the Fountain Creek Watershed. This includes areas where homeless camps are common.

But, despite tests showing contamination from human and animal excrement, some council members said they wanted more information before putting the blame on homeless. Studies are underway that will reveal more specific information.

The ban will go into effect on July 23. People in violation of the ordinance will initially receive a warning.