The City has cleaned up over 80 encampments over the last three years, as shown on this map of historic encampment sites. Today, there is one active encampment the City is managing to resolution. Learn more about City's response to the Roberts Lake Park and Ride encampment HERE

To report encampments or homeless-related issues, email us at [email protected].

Encampments on Public Property

The courts have constrained the City’s authority to address the problems posed by encampments on public property. The 9th Circuit’s decision in Martin vs. Boise prohibits criminal enforcement of city-wide camping prohibitions where a city cannot offer shelter. As a result, numerous cities which have attempted to clear encampments  have faced expensive lawsuits and injunctions.  Courts have generally allowed  encampment clearings only in response to documentable health and safety risks or where substitute shelter was made available.  
With limited shelter space in Sonoma County there are often few options for shelter or housing. That’s one reason we have built a 60-unit interim housing facility, Labath Landing. Information about Labath Landing is available 
Whenever we come across an encampment, we offer services to connect the campers to shelter and housing. While some refuse these services, others do take advantage of them. Click 
HERE to view program results. 
The City recently adopted an ordinance that gives us stronger tools to address encampments. This covers numerous issues, including:

  • Better access for the public to sidewalks and bike paths
  • Reducing waste/garbage at encampments
  • Establishing buffer zones around sensitive areas including schools, daycare facilities, waterways, and facilities serving homeless individuals
  • Reducing risks from fires by limiting what can be stored at encampments
  • Increased tools for enforcement
For more information on this new ordinance, we encourage you to read the staff report and watch the  discussion at the  September 13, 2022 City Council meeting on this topic (see Item 7A.) 

Click here for information on RVs and vehicles parked on streets.

Encampments on Private Property

Private property owners are responsible for the condition of their property. Homeless encampment-related activity, if left unchecked, can result in conditions that violate the nuisance code. Property owners have the right to enforce no-trespassing laws on their property. These are steps the City recommends property owners take when someone is trespassing on their property:

1. Approach individual(s) and ask them to leave (unless it is unsafe to do so).

2. Call Public Safety and request a response

3. Officer will work with the property owner/representative to find ways to address the situation.

These are some proactive measure owners of private property open to the public (retail, offices, etc.) can take:

-Empower staff to address and report unauthorized vehicles and trespassing to management.

-Provide on-site security overnight and throughout the day.

-Post property signage addressing trespassing and parking

-Lock and secure trash enclosures, backflows, bathrooms, and other locations where people may loiter.

-Tow unauthorized vehicles under Vehicle Code 22658(a)(1).

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