A homeless camp in Langley City. A proposed new bylaw would ban overnight stays by the homeless in one specific location, Douglas Park. File photo

Langley City looks to keep homeless from camping out in Douglas Park

Report to council proposes banning in a “specific park” would not contradict court ruling

Langley City Council has given preliminary approval to a bylaw that would ban homeless people from camping overnight in Douglas Park.

The proposed regulations were given initial reading at the Monday council meeting (May 7).

The vote was unanimous and the decision was made without any debate.

The proposals are expected to come back to council for a final vote on May 14.

The new “Parks and Public Facilities Bylaw, 2018, No. 3048” sets out new rules governing “overnight sheltering” in parks, while identifying Douglas Park as a park within the City “where overnight sheltering is prohibited.”

It also details exactly what behaviour and conduct in parks and public facilities is not acceptable, including “urinating or defecating in a park or public facility (and) obstructing the free use and enjoyment of a park or public facility by another person.”

The bylaw authorizes the removal of individuals from parks or public facilities who violate the behaviour and conduct regulations contained in the bylaw.

The report notes the last significant update to the Parks and Public Facilities Bylaw was undertaken in 2004.

That was before the B.C. Supreme Court overturned an Abbotsford ban on homeless encampments, ruling that homeless people in that city have a right to sleep overnight in public spaces if there isn’t anywhere else for them to go.

While the Supreme Court has ruled against “a complete prohibition of overnight sheltering in parks” it’s believed a specific prohibition in Douglas Park would still be allowed.

The park borders Douglas Park Community School, the Douglas Recreation Centre holds pre-school programs that start early in the morning and Spirit Square in Douglas Park is an outdoor performance and events venue that puts on shows during evenings and weekends in the summer.

The new bylaw also aims to reduce the proliferation of shopping carts used by the homeless by restricting their use in parks and public facilities.

READ MORE: ‘Find a place somewhere, where we can stay’

READ MORE: VIDEO: Hundreds show up to oppose supportive housing proposal



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Douglas Park in Langley City will be off-limits to overnight camping under a new bylaw that has been given preliminary approval by council. Undated Google Maps view

Just Posted

VIDEO: Giants take a 1-0 playoff series lead

Vancouver beat Seattle 7-1 in game one of the best-of-seven Western Conference series in Langley

Coroners office reports 29 fatal drug overdoses in Langley in 2018

Dealing with drug overdoses, fatal or not, creates serious stress for first responders.

PHOTOS: ‘Enchanted Forest’ excursion unveils Aldergrove park’s new Nature Discovery Area

Atop the former Aldergrove Lake now sits a large “free play” adventure area for kids.

Aldergrove team could return as all-stars on ‘The Amazing Race Canada’

Mother and daughter duo given a second chance, though their fate rests in the hands of voters

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Vancouver-bound transit bus involved in fatal crash near Seattle

One man was killed and a woman injured in crash with bus purchased by TransLink

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Most Read