Park camping clarified

Rules regarding camping in Vernon parks are being clarified.

On Monday, city council gave three readings to the parks and public places (temporary overnight sheltering) amendment bylaw.

“There’s been a lot of work done by staff and council to make sure we’re doing the right thing,” said Mayor Akbal Mund.

Under the proposed bylaw, an individual camping in a park or public space must dismantle and pack up the temporary shelter prior to 9 a.m. the following day.

That does not mean that they have to leave the park with the shelter.

“They could have it in their backpack just like anyone else (who goes in the park),” said Mund.

Under the bylaw, no person shall make or cause to be made noise, vibration, odour, dust, illumination or undertake any activity that is liable to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of individuals or the public in a public place, including but not limited to failing to remove objects from the park that interfere with public park use.

Temporary shelters will also not be allowed on sidewalks or boulevards.

It’s anticipated the bylaw will be adopted by council Aug. 14.

As a result of recent court rulings, municipalities cannot prevent people from camping in parks if there isn’t space available at homeless shelters.