Leander bans camping in public areas

leander-city-council
Leander City Council discussed public-area camping at its Aug. 20 regular meeting. (Screenshot courtesy city of Leander)

Leander City Council discussed public-area camping at its Aug. 20 regular meeting. (Screenshot courtesy city of Leander)

An ordinance to prohibit camping or establishing living accommodations in public areas was approved Aug. 20 by Leander City Council. It also establishes a $500 violation fine per day or partial day.

Council Member Jason Shaw said homelessness should be addressed with compassion. He said the city needs to address homelessness and camping now and know what resources are available to help people who may need to sleep in their car a night or two.

“I think we need to have a little bit more leeway, a little bit more empathy,” Shaw said.

Mayor Troy Hill said there was a recent situation in which there was a person camping, and Hill said he called Hill Country Community Ministries, which aided the person immediately.

Leander Police Chief Greg Minton said there are city services and funds available to help people with hardships and to provide housing and food. He said the department pushes compassion and empathy when working with people experiencing homelessness.


Minton said there needs to be something in place that helps with compliance for public area camping. He said the cities of Austin, Pflugerville and Cedar Park are working to manage tent issues now.

The city of Cedar Park prohibited camping in public areas in March 2012, and the city of Pflugerville updated its citywide public camping ordinance in Nov. 2019. In Oct. 2019, the city of Austin banned public camping on sidewalks with exceptions to sitting or lying down unless within 15 feet of a business.

Cedar Park spokesperson Jennie Huerta said camping in public areas is not a current issue in their city.

“Once you set that precedent, then it will overwhelm you quickly,” Minton said. “I don’t think we have a huge problem now, but it’s what’s going to happen in the next five to 10 years in Leander.”

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional information about public camping ordinances in nearby cities.
By Taylor Girtman

Reporter, Cedar Park and Leander

Taylor Girtman became the reporter for the Cedar Park-Leander edition in February 2020. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida.



MOST RECENT

Developers of The Backyard multiuse site said construction should begin in Q1 2022. (Rendering courtesy city of Bee Cave)
Bee Cave approves The Backyard property assessments

Bee Cave City Council also authorizes city's first Capital Improvement Plan.

In August, Cedar Park City Council appointed 15 people to a Bond Advisory Task Force. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Cedar Park asks for community feedback on future bond

The online survey will close Oct. 31.

Waterfall Drive was reconstructed from its connection point at Independence Boulevard to the south end of the street near Long Rock Drive. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Cedar Park to re-overlay roads in two neighborhoods in 2022

The project is expected to start next spring.

Hamlet Coworking will reach its fifth anniversary Nov. 1. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
3 businesses reach milestone anniversaries in Cedar Park

These local businesses are reaching milestone anniversaries in October and November.

"The Dude" is the signature burger at Lebowski's Grill. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Lebowski's Grill upends expectations in Austin; first Houston-area Costco Business Center opens in Stafford and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 26.

More than 35,000 passengers traveled through the airport on Oct. 25, the Monday following the 2021 F1 U.S. Grand Prix. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport sees busiest day ever following 2021 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix

The new record topped the previous busiest day by more than 3,000 passengers.

New statewide maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Gov. Abbott approves new voting maps for state legislature, Congress, school districts for next decade

The maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022, after the state legislature passed them during a 30-day special session.

The committee will provide input on Capital Metro's expanded public safety department to the transit agency's board of directors.  (Courtesy Capital Metro)
Capital Metro board approves charter for public safety advisory committee

The approval comes after the establishment of a transit police force met resistance during the August meeting.

The statewide job fair will connect veterans to employers as well as other resource providers. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Statewide job fair aims to connect Texas veterans and their families to employers

The job fair is coming to local Texas Workforce Solutions offices, some of which are having early admission for veterans and their families.

Teso Life currently has a location in Carrollton near another 99 Ranch Market and other Asian businesses and restaurants. (Matt Payne/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Japanese department store Teso Life coming to Frisco; New Braunfels’ Gruene Hall set as backdrop for Scotty McCreery music video and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 25.

Vote sign
Just over 2% of Williamson County voters cast ballots in first week of early voting

Early-voting returns show much lower participation for this year’s election compared to previous years.