San Diego City Council passes law placing restrictions on sleeping, living in vehicles

San Diego City Council passes law placing restrictions on sleeping, living in vehicles
The city passed the contentious law Tuesday. Opposers say the law targets the poor and homeless. (KSWB/CNN) (Source: KSWB/CNN)

SAN DIEGO (KSWB/CNN) - The San Diego City Council voted Tuesday to place restrictions on residents living in their cars within city limits.

The city council meeting erupted as many residents spoke out for and against the law.

“You come out and help me pick up the trash from the tourists and your kids,” said one woman who got so emotional during Tuesday meeting, that she walked out.

People on both sides delivered passionate speeches about their feelings on the proposed ordinance.

“This law is designed to make it criminal to be disabled and poor. Please examine your own heart before voting on this heartless law,” said another in attendance.

The ordinance would ban people from sleeping in their cars and campers. The proposal would make it illegal for people to sleep in their vehicles from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. or anytime within 500 feet of certain places like schools.

“I see this as an issue regarding health and safety because people who live in my neighborhood are defecating and urinating on the street,” said one woman for the ordinance.

City leaders say the plan is to help homeless residents by providing monitored parking lots with restroom access.

The ordinance would also provide services like housing assistance and job training.

There are four safe parking lots open in the city, with a fifth set to open in June. There also are 2,700 government-funded shelter beds available.

After the council listened to those for and against, members addressed the crowd and they voted to amend the enforcement time from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The law is scheduled to take effect immediately.

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