Camping is prohibited in the City of Ripon.
The Ripon City Council cleaned up the language on this nearly year-old ordinance at the Feb. 12 meeting.
“Initially, the ordinance stated camping (is) allowed on private property where the public has access,” City Administrator Kevin Werner said.
Amendments were made to the “Camping, Sleeping in Motor Vehicles, and Storage of Personal Property” municipal code enacted in 2017.
“Staff noticed some changes needed to be addressed,” said Werner.
‘Camp’ or ‘Camping,’ as defined by the ordinance, is use of public or private property for living accommodation purposes such as sleeping from sunset to sunrise or making preparations to sleep, storing personal belongings, building a fire or using a tent, shelter or other structures including a vehicle for sleeping.
Camping is also prohibited along the Stanislaus River, specifically, the area that extends from the San Joaquin County line “along the bed of the Stanislaus River to a distance of 300 feet away from the bank of the river,” according to the ordinance.
The ordinance doesn’t specify the homeless in any way, but the language here is consistent with federal law, City Attorney Tom Terpstra noted.
“If a resident has a relative with a motorhome and it is parked in the street, can they plug in to the home’s electrical?” asked Vice Mayor Leo Zuber.
The answer to that was no, Terpstra said.
Police Chief Ed Ormonde explained: “A resident can obtain a permit to have a recreational vehicle parked on their private property for up to three days or a permit for parking on the street for up to 14 days, if they meet certain restrictions.
“Recreation vehicles cannot be occupied or hooked up to electricity or sewer.”
The amendments were a first reading for elected leaders, who voted to waive the first reading and introduce the ordinance.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.