Santa Clarita Bans Sitting on Sidewalks, Sleeping in Libraries in Bid to Combat Homelessness

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy patrols a neighborhood in Santa Clarita in 2015. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy patrols a neighborhood in Santa Clarita in 2015. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Santa Clarita has enacted sweeping new rules barring individuals from sitting on sidewalks and sleeping in cars on public streets, joining other California municipalities that have passed laws to block homeless people from living in public spaces.

The City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday night for the restrictions, with council members defending the crackdown as part of a larger homeless strategy that also includes spending $1 million to help build a homeless shelter and creating a long-term plan to combat homelessness.

Opponents at Tuesday’s hearing urged the council to soften the restrictions, saying individuals in Santa Clarita are now prohibited from sitting on a curb, for instance. Homeless people “aren’t going to leave Santa Clarita, if that’s your hope,” Logan Smith, a candidate for City Council, told officials.

With the new rules, individuals can’t sit or lie down in a wide range of public spaces, including streets, sidewalks and maintained landscaped areas. Sleeping in public buildings is now prohibited and individuals can’t store their belongings in parks or public spaces.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.