Once considered an emergency, Missoula’s urban camping ordinance has now been postponed multiple times by the Missoula City Council. The ordinance, which went into place this summer but expired in September, will now be considered on Dec. 11.
“This is meant to give us time,” said Ward 5 Councilor Stacie Anderson, “to continue to have collaborative conversations with stakeholders, staff, attorneys, and making sure that we can thread this needle to make it so that it is compliant and enforceable and addresses some of the challenges that we are facing.”
The ordinance up for debate prohibits overnight camping in all city-owned or city-managed public parks, trails and conservation lands. It aims to provide safety in these spaces, but homeless advocates have criticized the move because it doesn’t outline anywhere else for unhoused Missoulians to go.
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An encampment on West Broadway Island in April.
BEN ALLAN SMITH, Missoulian
Nonetheless, all of the city councilors present at Monday’s meeting supported pushing the vote back to December. As the city has continually delayed the ordinance’s