Mayor Ben Cantu is pushing for extra restrictions on the place the homeless can “camp” or arrange tents in Manteca.
Among the many adjustments Cantu wish to see thought-about being made to the town ordinance relating to unlawful tenting that was up to date in 2016 to implement a settlement that averted a category motion lawsuit introduced by homeless contending the town was violating their rights embody:
*Banning the homeless and anybody else from tenting, pitching a tent, or parking a automobile to sleep in inside 1,000 toes of faculties, day care facilities, or leisure sports activities pages.
*Making an identical prohibition alongside all designated secure routes to colleges.
Victoria Brunn, the Manteca Unified Chief Enterprise and Data Officer, stated the district would admire the town probably placing such restrictions in place.
The security of scholars with interactions with some homeless was one of many driving forces behind the Measure M bond problem given lower than stellar secured campuses with the worst being Manteca Excessive.
A couple of years again earlier than the town moved to reinforce the Manteca Excessive campus safety by letting the district take over a phase of Garfield Avenue, the homeless would typically wander by the center of campus.
At one level police needed to be known as when a homeless particular person strayed onto campus with an extended knife sheathed at his aspect.
The homeless additionally usually sleep adjoining to the japanese aspect of the campus close to Lincoln Park.
Additionally they camp below timber alongside the Tidewater Bikeway which are inside 1,000 toes of the campus in addition to on a major route for college kids to stroll to and from Manteca Excessive from south of the 120 Bypass.
Earlier this yr, a used college bus occupied by the homeless that that had been transformed into an RV was parked 24/7 for weeks at a time on the southside of Moffat Boulevard proper on the Garfield Avenue crosswalk straight throughout from campus.
Underneath the present restrictions on tenting in addition to the homeless’ potential to make use of public property for tenting till such time beds can be found in a shelter, it isn’t unlawful for the homeless to do what they’ve been doing.
Homeless advocates concede not solely does the homeless inhabitants have a phase that abuse medicine and alcohol and subsequently will be unpredictable, however there are also individuals with severe psychological points.
Cantu made his request for employees to discover updating Manteca’s anti-camping ordinance after the Metropolis of Sacramento made their ordinance extra strong
Tracy is within the strategy of doing the identical factor.
2015 class motion lawsuit
triggered present metropolis regulation
The person who had essentially the most to do with shaping Manteca’s present response to homeless points isn’t on the municipal payroll.
It’s Robert Schuknecht. He’s the man who for over a yr blocked a part of the town sidewalk by the driveway to the East Yosemite Avenue McDonald’s along with his three-level cart stacked along with his belongings. He’d usually sit on the sidewalk along with his off leash canine whereas strumming his guitar between taking handouts from individuals and firing up his BBQ within the landscaped areas of an adjoining dental workplace.
Schuknecht received three different homeless males and obtained authorized counsel to sue the Metropolis of Manteca on Nov. 13, 2015 in federal court docket basically for not offering them shelter and imposing ordinances that allegedly violated their constitutional rights.
The lawsuit contended:
*The town was focusing on the homeless by locking restrooms at Library Park and turning off the electrical energy on the gazebo at Library Park so the homeless couldn’t cost their smartphones.
*The Metropolis Council demonstrated they had been focusing on the homeless as a result of they despatched a letter to Meeting member Kansen Chu expressing their concern with proposed laws that will stop cities from adopting ordinances prohibiting individuals from sleeping or resting in a legally parked motorized vehicle and penalizing individuals after they did.
*There’s inadequate shelter area for homeless in Manteca and that the three shelters that exist don’t settle for single homeless males.
*The town violated the eighth and 14th Amendments by making being homeless against the law.
*Three municipal codes relating to tenting, transient shelter, and storage of private property violated the 4th, eighth and 14th Amendments.
Steps Manteca took to
keep away from a large
Manteca leaders — looking for to keep away from a lawsuit they had been suggested might find yourself costing the town hundreds of thousands that insurance coverage won’t cowl — suspended enforcement of ordinances that had been in place to handle high quality of life points homeless can create after the lawsuit was filed.
And, as an alternative of placing the town’s coffers within the arms of a federal jury they attained specialised authorized counsel to see what different cities had in place to handle homeless points that has handed constitutional muster within the courts.
These steps included:
*Eliminating the whole ordinance coping with transient shelter.
*Deleting “homeless” references within the tenting ordinance to make it clear the principles apply to everybody.
*Altering municipal regulation to adjust to court docket rulings that basically say the homeless have the appropriate to sleep and may achieve this on non-secured public property from 11 p.m. to six a.m. the next day including the Manteca Transit Heart and the Manteca Group Heart (Manteca Veterans Heart), each on Moffat Blvd., as areas the place tenting wouldn’t be allowed ever in addition to areas akin to parks which are closed throughout particular hours as nicely to everybody.
That doesn’t cancel out different legal guidelines. For instance, the town has to permit sleeping on public sidewalks from 11 p.m. to six p.m. offering legal guidelines relating to entry together with the handicapped are noticed. Meaning a transparent passage of three toes. It’s why sleeping on public sidewalks in residential neighborhoods is nearly universally unlawful whereas business district sidewalks that are typically six toes or wider makes it authorized to take action
*Modified the private storage ordinance to notice objects faraway from parks and different areas can be held for 90 days as an alternative of 72 hours as was beforehand stipulated earlier than being destroyed. That’s extra strong than the 30-day requirement the courts have insisted on.
Settlement paid $47,000
to homeless & their attorneys
After these steps had been taken, the town authorised a settlement settlement in 2016 that coated the next:
*The 4 plaintiffs together with Schuknecht and their attorneys acquired $47,000. (The town additionally incurred practically $30,000 in authorized prices.)
*The town expunged pending citations and/or expenses relating to the three municipal code sections focused within the go well with.
*The town put in place a neighborhood useful resource officer to assist direct homeless to providers and take care of homeless points in addition to conduct future homeless summits and search alternatives to use for state and federal inexpensive housing and homeless grants.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, e mail email@example.com