AUSTIN, Texas -- Austin City Council Thursday night approved an amendment that clarifies the new homeless camping policies.
The amendment includes camping restrictions near storm drains and waterways. In addition, there are restrictions concerning areas deemed to have high fire risk, highway underpasses, medians and slopes.
The amendment also blocks camping within 15 feet of businesses and homes.
City Council members heard plenty of public comment, largely from those opposed to the current camping ordinances.
Homeless advocates said the city cannot criminalize them, and the solutions so far proposed aren’t supported by data.
Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley issued the following statement concerning the amendment Friday afternoon:
"The Austin Police Department remains committed to working with the City Council, fellow city departments, social service groups, those experiencing homelessness, and others as we strive to end homelessness in our community. We will update our training bulletins and direction to officers to reflect the additional enforcement authorities contained in the updated ordinance."