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Camping by permit only
Manteca moves to clarify ordinance
Camping on sidewalks and elsewhere in Manteca will be illegal without a permit starting July 21. - photo by HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo

No camping will be allowed in Manteca starting July 21 unless a permit is obtained from the city.
The sweeping camping ordinance unanimously adopted by the City Council Tuesday night is aimed at making sure the rights of everyone — residents and the homeless alike — are respected while making it clear what can and can’t be done. It also allows the city to enforce the rules and better withstand legal challenges.
It means no camping of any type — with one exception — will be allowed on private property even if it is a relative, friend or homeless individual unless a permit has been requested from — and issued by  — the city manager. There is a one-night exception  for friends or family of the owner of private property as long as the owner consents and it is not more than one consecutive night.
The police chief will have the authority to issue a permit for camping in a motor home or trailer on public property in a residential district for no more than five convective days. Once that permit is expired, an extension can be requested.
That request must be denied though if:
The applicant is not a bona fide resident of the city of Manteca.
The proposed location is not on a street adjacent to the applicant’s residence.
The out-of-town visitor is not the applicant’s guest;
Information submitted by the applicant is materially false.
Overall, no temporary  camping permits will be issued to an applicant for a period in excess of 10 days within any 90-day period.
It will also be illegal to camp, occupy camp facilities, or use camp paraphernalia in the following areas:
The Manteca Transit Center at 220 Moffat Blvd.
The Moffat Community Center at 580 Moffat Blvd.
Any public property except when the person is sitting or lying on public property between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. of the following day. That means using areas such as public sidewalks for that purpose  between those hours.
“This has been a long-time coming,” said Mayor Steve DeBrum.
The mayor also noted it will allow the city to address quality of life issues for everyone.
 The ordinance is modeled of those in other California cities where the municipal code has passed muster with legal challenges. It essentially acknowledged the need of homeless to sleep — hence the reference to sitting or lying on public property for a seven-hour period between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. It also allows enforcement of quality of life laws impacting the entire community.
It also means police will know in advance who has permission to camp on private property, if anyone.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email